County discusses fracking

The Ottawa County Planning Commission hosted a seminar Wednesday night that drilled into the issue of fracking.
Alex Doty
Jul 18, 2013

The seminar was in response to numerous inquiries that county planners have received from local leaders and residents about the fracking process. 

Hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — is done when sand, water and other mixed-in chemicals are piped into gas wells to create fractures in underground rock formations. These hairline fractures release the oil and gas, explained Adam Wygant of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Ottawa County's geology, the history of fracking in Michigan, state regulations, environmental concerns, information for property owners on negotiating an oil and gas lease, and other information was provided at the seminar.

According to Wygant, there are protections in place to deal with the environmental concerns of fracking.

“We have environmental regulations that deal with extracted resources,” he said. “It’s wasteful not to use them if they can be extracted without harm to the environment.”

According to Wygant, there is a significant number of fracked wells in the northern Lower Peninsula, and a proposal for a well in the Ravenna area.

Richard Sandtveit, an industry expert with the Treadwell Energy Corp., said there are a lot of economic benefits to the process.

“We are a thriving industry here, and we help to provide a strong economy here in Michigan,” he said.

Sandtveit said the industry employs nearly 10,000 people directly and about 23,000 more indirectly. According to information he provided, this provides about $2.6 billion in total labor income and $5.7 billion in valued-added economic output.

Sandtveit also noted that oil and gas extraction is a boon for community coffers, as $8 million a year is paid in property taxes to townships in northern Lower Peninsula for their wells.

LuAnne Kozma, from the Committee to Ban Fracking In Michigan, said there are a lot of problems with fracking — from environmental pollution to health impacts.

“Toxic chemicals are used at every stage of the process to develop and release the gas,” she said.

Kozma said in response to the growing concerns about the fracking industry, there is an initiative to place a question before Michigan voters to ban it. She said her group needs to get the required number of petition signatures by Oct. 1 in order to get the proposition placed on the ballot next year.

“We feel that banning fracking and putting it into the state law is the way to go,” Kozma said.

Kozma said residents of other states are also concerned about the health and environmental effects of fracking. She said New Jersey and Vermont have banned it, and other towns and cities across the U.S. are also looking at it.

“We’re not trying to harm the economy,” she said. “We are trying to protect our people.”

Comments

jbvermurlen

Fracking is bad it can cause water contamination (methane in the water source) and releases toxic fumes in the air.... Watch the documentary Gasland... The well's leak and make people sick like cancer, Read the articale they use harmful chemicals to release the gas.. They also cause eartquakes

This guy

I've seen Gasland. I just watched FrackNation which refutes most of it in a pretty convincing manner. In the end, documentaries are just movies = entertainment. I would only suggest if you watch one, try the other too.

jbvermurlen

I have and the government covers it up!!! Sad its all about money

truthhurts

drill baby drill

jbvermurlen

Ok when you get contaminated water don't come cryin' to me

Zegota

I was a strong supporter of fracking until I did online research on fracking, please check out the facts and read about the chemicals and fracking procedures. If you cannot support wind power, you will surely be impress with fracking, it is dangerous not only to our environment, but to our health and it is long term. There is not one article I can find that discuss how to remove this chemical waste completely from the ground. Maybe the surrounding well waters?
God Help Us.

dyankee

We won't come crying to you if we get contaminated water, because it WILL NOT HAPPEN! You will have a better chance of being hit by lightening twice, in the SAME SPOT! than having our water contaminated by hydraulic fracturing. Why is it that the uninformed voters focus on the 1% chance of problems with oil, gas, coal, or nuclear energy exploration and development, but completely ignore the 99% success rate and positive impact it has on the American economy and our way of life that benefits EVERYONE! Drives me fracking crazy.

truthhurts

because they are FOLLOWERS!

LessThanAmused

You are both fools, complete and utter fools. If you believe what any corporation tells you these days then you're ignorant beyond belief, but hey....time will tell and in the end when your grandkids are faced with drinking poisioned ground water you can tell 'em to suck it up and quit whining right?

An old quote, but more relevant with each passing day......

"When the Last Tree Is Cut Down, the Last Fish Eaten, and the Last Stream Poisoned, You Will Realize That You Cannot Eat Money"

Lanivan

Fracking is a necessary evil. As in so many cases, if money can be made through the improvement of a system, US inventiveness steps in. GE (the company that makes enormous profits and pays zero taxes) is stepping up to the plate and is spending big R&D bucks to address the many problems of fracking. "One of America's corporate giants is investing billions of dollars in the new boom of oil and gas drilling, or fracking. General Electric Co. is opening a new laboratory in Oklahoma, buying up related companies, and placing a big bet that cutting-edge science will improve profits for clients and reduce the environmental and health effects of the boom."

"It's exciting to see. I think it is a positive response to legitimate public concerns about the environmental impacts" of the fracking boom, said Michael Shellenberger, one of the founders of Oakland's Breakthrough Institute. He added that other companies are working to reduce and clean up wastewater, use more benign fracking methods, and reduce air pollution related to drilling.

"It's the kind of continuous improvement of technologies that's needed," Shellenberger said.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/20...

LessThanAmused

"Fracking is a necessary evil"??? Say what??
I've thought it for some time now, but that quote just confirmed to me that you also belong on my complete and utter fools list. I wish I had something amusing and pithy to say, but it just makes me sad that you'd sell out your childen's children for a pocket full of silver coins.

For the life of me I don't understand how any of you self proclaimed great thinkers could be so easily duped by corporate lies. Although according to my doctor I won't live long enough to witness the full blown damage that will be experienced by fracking, I nevertheless feel sorrow for your grandchildren and our beautiful and amazing planet that we're determined to destroy in ever more insideous and permanent ways. How ironic and fitting that on a planet with it's surface being 3/4 water that the human vermin will eventually die of thirst from it's own greed and stupidity.

If there was a god, it'd be time for him to come back and deal with his failed human experiment.

Lanivan

Your sarcasm is eclipsed by your offensive and very much off-the-mark comment. I am replying against my better judgement, as I generally don't care to spend time with posters who are so consistently demeaning and disrespectful, and especially when bereft of information or well-thought out opinions, but here goes:

Fracking is a necessary evil, fraught with hazards, pollutants, and long-term consequences, just like oil drilling and coal mining. The one good thing is that it is extracting a fossil fuel that is plentiful, nearly free of toxins and pollutants, and is very clean. My link explained how American ingenuity, in this case, General Electric, is spending billions in R&D to address the problem of fracking, and to design methods and machinery to improve the fracking process.

You are on my list of those who really need to get their funk on a whole new level, dude.

jbvermurlen

The wells leak 35% of the wells leak read about fracking before you run your mouth

dyankee

No they don't! They leak approx. 5% of the time and virtually all the leakage is contained with the multiple layer casing of the well drilling process. This design is engineered precisely, to handle potential leaks while keeping this practice safe for the environment. In addition, the 5% happens to wells as they age, not when they are new. Do you actually believe that in this Country we are NOT equipped in our government to regulate companies? So, now can we move on with progress and talk about the overwhelming and staggering benefits of fracking Mr. running your mouth?

Bigwaves99

Dyankee - what's your info source? Could you post a link please.

jbvermurlen

He probly works for the gas company and is brain washed

dyankee

No, I don't work for the gas company JB, but I'm well read and know enough about the issues to recognize BS when I see it.

Bigwaves99, do you not research on your own? Here you go: hydraulicfracturing-leakingpercentages/dyankee/july18,2013 I gotta' tell ya' this posting stuff can be exhausting...I don't know how Vlad, Wing, and Lanivan do it!

Lanivan

Have you noticed Tri-Cities Realist is back after a long absence? Now you're showing up, let's have a reunion and re-visit the agony of the pre-election days, which, by the way, I won....

annoyed person here

http://articles.chicagotribune.c... here one that spilled they were fined and have to help clean up wippty-doo the damage is done. and another spill http://www.denverpost.com/enviro... this one talks about the effects of it. http://www.nrdc.org/energy/frack... and this talks about open pits and storing the contaminated water. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blog... so whats the plan just destroy all our water and store them some where or maybe dump it in our water. dyankee will not change his mind till he's phased with the effects. I say we ship him off to the places effected.

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