Backers of charter amendment are using manufactured issues

Backers of charter amendment are using manufactured issues

The issues that form the basis for the charter amendment are manufactured, and the purpose is to create fear — fear of the development of the Utica Shale beneath the City of Youngstown.

Manufactured issues relating to the oil and gas industry are not new, and are unrelenting.

The first is that horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are only five years old and experimental. We need to separate the two procedures, they are not the same.

Horizontal drilling is new to Ohio, but it is not a new technology. It has been used commercially for 30 years, including places such as Prudoe Bay, Alaska.

Hydraulic fracturing has been used safely for over 60 years in connection with vertically and horizontally drilled wells, and for over 50 years in Ohio. The combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling is an extension of two proven technologies.

The second manufactured issue is that hydraulic fracturing has been the cause of contaminated water wells. Although several claims have been made, EPA investigations have proved those claims to be false.

Hydraulic fracturing does not causes earthquakes. The earthquakes in Youngstown were caused by improper operation of disposal wells, not hydraulic fracturing.

Another manufactured issue is hat oil and gas development causes toxic air pollution. The Fort Worth area of Texas is in the center of the development of the Barnett Shale, and has 24/7 air quality monitors. Of all the pollutants claimed by environmentalists to come from shale wells, these monitors only show a background reference.

The Fort Worth area was also the subject of an exhaustive epidemiological study that found there is no evidence of any increased health issues related to shale development.

All of the claims made by the proponents of the charter amendment are false. The basis for the charter amendment is false.

Therefore, you should vote no on the charter amendment issue.

Mark R. McGrail, Warren