April 8, 2012 Dear Senator Greg Ball, The current practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) began in America in the late 1990‘s and has been wreaking havoc on the land and the lives of the American people since. In case you are unaware, fracking is the process well diggers use to extract natural gas and oil from the earth. They use pressurized mixture of water, sand, and chemicals to form veins (or fractures) in the rock in order for the natural gas or oil to escape.
Although this process is an affective way to produce the natural resources from the earth, there are repercussions that are being ignored by the well companies. For instance, there were several private wells in Dimock, Pennsylvania contaminated with methane caused by the fracking done by Cabot Oil and Gas. The people living off these wells were not able to use their water. Although the gas company denied any kind of fault, they compensated the residents financially and built a new pipeline to bring clean water in.
In December, 2011 the EPA sent out letters to the residents telling them their water was safe to drink. But in January of 2012 the EPA retracted its position and told the gas company to immediately take care of the problem. Another problem that has developed due to fracking is pollution around the dig sites. Emissions associated with combustion include nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxide, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Another emission problem is the emission produced from the natural gas.
Gasses such as methane, ethane and liquid condensate and volatile organic compounds (VOC). VOC’s have been proven to cause birth defects, neurological problems, and cancer. Most recently, in March of 2012, officials in Ohio are blaming the wastewater produced from fracking for a series of recent earthquakes. What my goal would be from you Mr. Ball, is that you would introduce a bill to the senate that would encourage regulation on fracking from the federal level.
If the federal government would regulate the way fracking is done in America, it could save many lives and help save the environment. Bad drilling techniques, design and execution are some of the reasons the drilling wreaks so much havoc. This is something that could very easily be regulated by inspections of the wells. I also believe that the number of wells being drilled needs to be regulated. In Pennsylvania alone, there are 3,500 wells. This number is too high. Having that number of wells in such s small area, is inviting problems.
If the federal government would make some regulations on how many wells per square mile are aloud, it would cut down of a lot of the damage being done. It may also be possible to regulate how far from civilian dwellings a well should be drilled. If the wells were drilled several miles from any home, the chances of it endangering people and animals would decrease. Mr. Ball I appreciate you taking time to read this letter and listening to my concerns. I am confident that you love this country as much as I do and will try to put an end to hydraulic fracturing as we know it today. Sincerely,