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There has to be a better way than fracking to save economy

Published: Wed, April 11, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

There has to be a better way than fracking to save economy

As a resident of the Mahon- ing Valley, I am trying to understand how hydraulic fracturing is critical to our energy needs and necessary to improve our economy.

From what I can gather, hydraulic fracturing is a process that inseminates the earth with 2 million to 6 million gallons of toxic fluid per well, including radioactive tracers and other additives such as hydrochloric acid and arsenic to fracture rock and to release the natural gas in it.

Because the drilling of these wells is allowed within less than 300 feet of rivers and streams and 500 feet of drinking water reservoirs, hydraulic fracturing threatens to infect our drinking water with the same toxins used to fracture rock. The cement and steel casing they use to contain the toxic fluids are not built to withstand the massive pressure of the fluids, which may result in leaks and infiltrate the groundwater. If the groundwater becomes polluted, the land is contaminated.

Moreover, the danger of air emissions from the natural gas itself or its combustion can create neurological problems, birth defects and cancer. Additionally, the disposal of used fracking fluid is just as dangerous, as we can see from the numerous earthquakes we have had in the Mahoning Valley this last year.

Yet we continue to allow Pennsylvania to deposit its waste fluid in Ohio for an additional 20 cents a barrel. Though Gov. Kasich wishes to increase the price to bring in higher revenue, there is no price high enough to alleviate the damage it is doing to our land.

Why is it that we of the Mahoning Valley are so willing to sell ourselves and our land to corporations that have no sense of loyalty to anything but the profit margin? Are we so beaten down as a people that we are willing to destroy our land, water and air because it is the only way we can think to make a living? Are we so easily deceived by the corporations that have deceived us before that we are willing to sell our bodies and our land to provide money in their bank accounts?

We need to find another way. Anybody out there know of a better way?

Diana Shaheen, Boardman


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