Basically I am someone who favors energy independence. I would love someone to install an electricity-generating windmill on the hill behind my house, and I am impressed by the dedication of neighbors who have installed solar panels, though I doubt that we get enough sun here to make it economically viable. So when, a few years ago, I first heard about the local drilling for gas, my thought was “what a good idea, and how fortunate we are to be over a gas deposit”. I could not understand how anyone could be opposed: after all, sink a pipe and up comes clean, natural gas.
Thus the past few weeks of reading what is happening to our area has come as a shock and a rude awakening. As many who live in the areas surrounding Ithaca, I discover by looking at the gas lease maps available on the web that I am surrounded by land that has been leased for gas drilling. I’m sure that these neighbors thought like I used to: it is perfectly safe, you stand a chance of getting rich (I am told by more than one landowner that the leasing agents gave figures to land-owners of $40,000 per month), and the operation is perfectly benign, so what’s the harm?
WRONG! Unlike my naïve original assumptions, drilling involves more than a simple hole in the ground. And I find that many of my neighbors are unaware that it’s possible for this drilling to take place in their back yard, unaware of the dangers to which we are all likely to be exposed. So to that end I would like to list what this drilling involves.
Continue reading "On the Education of a ‘Fracking Neophyte" by Peter Davies