by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
In times when the price of oil was climbing and jobs have disappeared overseas, many initially welcomed the boom but the reality of living with frackquakes, earthquakes caused by fracking which are damaging homes and infrastructure, and the other impacts wrought have changed people's minds.
A wave of activism is beginning across the country. In Texas earlier this month group of disgruntled citizens, numbering around 1,000 showed up at a public meeting on the subject in Azle/Reno, TX. The official holding the meeting, the state regulator, used the opportunity to announce a 'study' of the situation. Then he refused to answer questions.
People from the community who had attended walked out of the meeting, rented a bus, and went to the state capital, four hours away, to vent their spleen and demand action from the entire Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees all oil and gas drilling in the state.
Comments to the commission were recorded and included:
“In other states where fracking waste-water injection wells have been shut down, earthquakes disappear. This isn’t rocket science. Common sense tells you that fracking waste disposal is playing a big role in this. Don’t make us guinea pigs while you study.” — Reno Mayor Lynda Stokes
“This is a property rights issue, pure and simple. The most profitable industry in the country is damaging our homes. And the Railroad Commission is not only allowing it, they’re forcing homeowners to pay the damages.” — Reno homeowner Barbara Brown
Hearing the rise of outrage earlier the city of Dallas passed a moratorium on fracking late last year.
Texas, long the advocate and cheerleader for fracking, oil industry's newest roll out for drilling, is up in arms. Other states, including New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Colorado and California are saying No to earthquakes caused by horizontal hydraulic fracturing.
Since November 1 Texas has experienced 30 tremblers in the north central part of their state, which previously had been considered to be seismically inactive. The costs are being borne by local homeowners who were helpfully told by one state, Oklahoma, to buy earthquake insurance, after the fact.
The resulting focus for angry Americans is on the fact their property is being damaged, with more to come, and the health hazards of the waste water produced by the process are beginning to sink in, to the water tables and to public awareness.
Now, what about Ohio?