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Don’t let history repeat itself

June 24, 2012
The Herald-Star

To the editor:

In October, I wrote a letter to the editor immediately following the "ABC Nightly News" article that highlighted the potential of 200,000-plus jobs in the Ohio Valley as an immediate benefit of shale fracking. In that article, I mentioned environmental hazards from earthquakes and contaminated water supply. I was met with resistance - one reader commented that earthquakes are not directly caused by fracking. One reader commented that fracking poses no harm to the environment. We know the facts. A gas well in Youngstown made national news when they experienced an earthquake a day. In my Sunday paper in Fredericksburg, Va., an article was on the front page of one section which mentioned the alarming rate of contaminated groundwater in Ohio.

I read the Herald-Star online every day and constantly see letters to the editor with local residents complaining that the jobs are not going to local residents, rather to out-of-town drillers. Just wait, these out-of-town drillers are going to bring some serious problems to the Ohio Valley. From increased illicit drug presence to increased crime rates, the consequences could outweigh the benefits of the shale drilling industry. I haven't lived in Steubenville for at least two years, but it doesn't take an expert to see that local residents are disappointed with the lack of jobs provided by this new boom. It is really a shame that the workers taking these potential jobs could bring a bigger problem than local unemployment to the Ohio Valley.

I once wrote a letter to the editor highlighting the environmental and geological consequences of fracking. Now I am writing this letter identifying the potential dangers of out-of-area workers coming in and the hazards they could bring. Please don't let history repeat itself.

Michael Fatula

Stafford, Va.

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