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Speak up against fracking

October 16, 2011
The Herald-Star

To the editor:

"Win their hearts and minds" must be the primary memo circulating the fracking industry. See how they've come a-courting with flowers and kisses and patriotic mantras, flooding us with perfumed visions of happy ever after.

In case you haven't seen the TV illustration depicting horizontal drilling for natural gas, often referred to as fracking, here are some specifics of the operation. Fracking is a process of drilling and injecting a pressurized, patented mix of water, sand and chemicals deep into shale oil deposits to fracture the rock and release trapped gas. It can also release benzene, arsenic, radio nuclides and much more, things that make people really sick.

You must ask yourself: why would a legitimate employer need to spend millions of dollars promoting themselves in a high unemployment area? The answer: so that you will overlook the destruction they have wrought elsewhere. Don't look at that documentary clip of the people lighting their methane-filled tap water on fire. We have jobs for you. Pay no attention to how much natural gas we export - memorize our barrage of ads that say we bring energy to America. Disregard that wastewater-induced fish kill over there in Pennsylvania's Dunkard Creek, and that explosion of our frack-water impoundment in Avella; look here, we have money for your schools. Radioactive contamination? Carcinogenic chemicals? Prove it - but first please take some funds for your small business - just display our good name in a prominent place. We have money for your civic groups, donations for your charities, cancer for your children. How much per acre would you like for that?

Dangling shiny goodies and repeating goodwill promises have produced a trance-like acceptance of the frackers' false message. Our hearts and minds are indeed mesmerized, convinced that these are desperate times and the hero has arrived, even as their thousands of poisonous tentacles are set to burrow deep into the land. The many groups fighting this disastrous technique don't have the kind of advertising money it takes to repeatedly show the awful downside of what is about to occur here. We have to be smart enough to shake ourselves out of our stupor and realize that the ultimate intention of our rich fracking suitor is prolonged rape and discard.

There are better ways to harness energy and create jobs. Our leaders need to reject the frackers, turn the tables, and become the suitor. We must actively court the many new industries of a clean, green, healthy future. If we don't, truly desperate times will follow.

To join the resistance, you may contact, among several others, the Ohio Environmental Council (, Earth Justice ( or Food and Water Watch (

Karen Shell


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