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by Richard T. Desvernine Jr. (aka The Rapscallion)

 Last year (2011) the State of Michigan auctioned off 120,000 acres of state land for hydraulic fracture or fracking. Fracking is the controversial process where water sand and toxic chemicals (or frac fluid) are pumped deep into the ground at extremely high pressure to fracture the shale rock to release natural gas.

 Currently there are about 18,000 wells in the state and 12,000 of them have been drilled as frack wells. The auctioning continues in May.

 Many are deeply concerned that the process has the potential to pollute. The chemicals used in frac fluid were exempted from the Clean Drinking Water Act in 2005 while former Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney was Vice President of the United States. Among the constituents of frac fluid are silica fracking gell bound with polyphenic resins with hexylbenzine compounds --a known carcinogen and DNA disrupter that can cause birth defects. (Gasland, Josh Fox)

 The Lower Peninsula of Michigan rests almost entirely on shale, coupled with newly enacted business tax breaks makes Michigan ripe for development. Huge volumes of water are required to frack wells. 2 to 7.8 million gallons of water or about 5.6 million on average are used. The process also releases naturally occurring radon in the earth adding to the toxic brew. Millions of gallons return to the surface and is treated as waste water. Often it is sprayed onto the ground, contained in pits, or dumped into waterways.

 Frac fluid at the surface has been know to be dumped into municipal treatment plants and passed untreated into waterways. In Pennsylvania on the Little Neshaminy near upstream from Philadelphia’s water supply: There currently no way to treat for radon and the chemicals found in frac fluid and
drinking water is not being tested for these toxins.

 In fracking some of the frac fluid remains below ground. Industry proponents are steadfast in their assertion that fracking process is perfectly safe citing that gas wells are far below the aquifer. Recent developments indicate that this is simply not the case.

 Fracking also pollutes the air. Huge amounts of methane are released into the upper atmosphere further accelerating Global Warming: “Molecule for molecule, methane traps 20 to 25 times more heat in the atmosphere than does carbon dioxide. The effect dissipates faster, however: airborne methane remains in the atmosphere for about 12 years before being scrubbed out by ongoing chemical reactions, whereas CO2 lasts 30 to 95 years. Nevertheless, recent data from the two Cornell scientists and others indicate that within the next 20 years, methane will contribute 44 percent of the greenhouse gas load produced by the U.S. Of that portion, 17 percent will come from all natural gas operations.”
Fracking Would Emit Large Quantities of Greenhouse Gases: Scientific American

 New pipelines and huge infrastructures are required. Roads must be built. Trees must be cut down and the land is graded. Scenic beauty and habitat is destroyed. Pipelines carry Federal Eminent Domain. They can put a pipeline through State Lands and on anyone’s private property.

 Michigan is one of the 39 states where if enough of your neighbors sign fracking leases your land can be fracked without compensation. So it becomes: “Sign or get nothing!“ It pits neighbor against neighbor and fractures the community dynamic.

 More on Compulsory Pooling in Michigan.

 Where industry may not have surface rights to drill on an individual's land... : "Once a “holdout” is compulsory pooled, he or she is given two options:
1. Pay to the company the proportionate share of the cost of drilling, completing, and equipping
the well, whether it is a producer or a dry hole;
2. Await the outcome of the drilling of the well, and if it is a producer, pay to the company the
proportionate share of the cost of drilling, completing, and equipping the well, plus an
additional percent determined by the DEQ’s Supervisor of Wells.
Both options make the holdout a full working party in the well. The landowner receives a
1/8 royalty, but unlike the voluntary lessors, the holdout must pay a portion of the drilling
and operating costs."

 Often when spills our accidents occur they are covered up.

 With fracking the drilling and truck traffic are very noisy and has no place on State Lands or with in earshot of private land.

 No one can know how much gas there really is.

 Recently a well in Michigan came up dry and local lease holders leases were reneged on in a less than honest way.

 Much of the money being made so far in Fracking is not based on supply and demand but on speculation and futures.

 In fact, currently, frack gas cost more to produce then they can sell it for so they have looked to the Chinese to invest.

 No one can see underground and know where the gas is or where the water is that the industry could pollute. Aquifers and waterways are inextricably linked. Drilling creates conduits for fresh water contamination.

 But what about the jobs? Workers are at risk! It’s a dangerous and dirty job.

 Green Energy investment creates 3-4 times the jobs. Putting up windmills and solar panels and renewable are profitable just not as profitable (%) as fossil fuels at the moment. So some consumer and government partnership should be fostered and encouraged.

 For these and so many reasons we are for an all out ban. Regulation will not work. We will just be monitoring the pollution. Fracking. It’s a bad deal! Please join us in our fight for the future of Michigan's environment, its water and its people.

 For more information please inquire: LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE! BAN HYDRAULIC FRACTURE IN MICHIGAN on Facebook.
 Thank You, Richard T. Desvernine Jr.

12:32 PM PT: It appears that the links are not working. Please see the group description of "LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE! BAN HYDRAULIC FRACTURE IN MICHIGAN! (on Facebook) for the links. Sorry but I am new to this. :) Thanks, Richard

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