Joel Dyer may have written “Hiding behind the flag” (DyerTimes, May 23) for BW awhile ago, but here on the East Coast in the Marcellus Shale region, or better known as frack country, we are just starting to have the pleasure of reading and circulating it.
First, thank you, Mr. Dyer, for your commentary. Our state of New York may have a moratorium on horizontal hydro fracking, with a decision coming this year by Gov. Cuomo on whether our state will be the second state besides Vermont to ban horizontal hydrofracking.
In the meantime, it is not stopping the oil and gas industry from using eminent domain through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to run a large natural gas pipeline called the Constitution across our Empire State from Pennsylvania.
It’s a real kick in the gut how the natural gas industry not only uses our Stars and Stripes to hide behind while fracking us; now they are naming volatile, land-grabbing natural gas pipelines with smog-belching compressor stations after the document our country was founded on!
The true answer to our country’s energy independence and homeland security is renewable energy.
Tammy Reiss/Butternuts, N.Y.
My family got fracked
(Re: “The hills are alive with the sound of fracking,” Danish Plan, July 11.) My last four years fighting fracking have played out to where the health of my family has been compromised.
In the summer of 2012 they started drilling near my home by the Dallas Cowboys Stadium. I had no cooperation from the city or Chesapeake as to when they would be flowing back and putting those wells into production, so that I could watch the winds and remove my family from downwind toxins. In January my teenager was getting this rash at the same time my husband’s lymph nodes were swelling in his neck. Now we have chemo and radiation to finish up by this August. My teen has biomarkers for an adrenal tumor, and I need to have a third test run and get another doctor’s opinion on him. I will never be able to prove drilling harmed my family, but the drillers will never be able to prove they did not.
Important considerations for an ordinance is what I learned from experience. I live two blocks from a Chesapeake gas drill site near the Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas, where we have 60 padsites of urban drilling in neighborhoods and near schools. The industry is doing business as usual, pretending that rural methods and vertical drilling apply to urban drilling and unconventional oil and shale gas extraction, using slick gels, horizontal drilling, high PSIs, huge amounts of water and drilling waste. This is a new, unproven, safe technology and if you look at the 1,300 cases of people claiming health and property effects by searching “The List of the Harmed,” you’ll start to see that the industry is hiding behind the guise of being in compliance to regulations that actually are either nonexistent, exempted, or are lacking in protective areas such as: 1) Always use electric drilling rigs. 2) Don’t use diesel or dirty field gas to power engines and compressors. 3) Invest in technology to keep frac, sand, silica dust out of the worker’s and neighborhood’s lungs. 4) Flow back right away after fracking — don’t let the water and the well sour with months going by before flowing back the well. 5) Flowback into closed, ventless, pressurized flowback tanks — sure, it costs more, but if you are near people or workers … you need to not be venting hydrocarbons in the early stage of flowback to the atmosphere via these open hatch flowback tanks or those rural-style frack pits. 6) Then the industry needs to address sustained casing issues and convince the public that cement doesn’t ever rot or have other pathways to migrate and damage our underground aquifers.
That is a big thing and impossible, isn’t it?
Kim Feil/Arlington, Texas