I am not the only one who thinks this move to adopt a pro-fracking resolution smacks of politicking. Others do, too - and on Tuesday October 13, they plan to submit a letter to the town board telling why they are not only fed up with this political nonsense, but also enumerating the ways that fracking with gas will NOT solve the issues of health, safety, contamination, etc that the "pro-gas-frac" contingent wants us to believe. (note: update 10/12 re: Van Etten does NOT pass this resolution. see below)
After years of scientific study, the DEC determined that high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing is not healthy to children and other living things. They back that up with a report released by the NY State Dept. of Health.
"LPG/ propane gel fracturing warrants the same extensive review before our community condones the use of technology," say the citizens. Propane/LPG fracking isn't the "safe and proven technology" that our town board would like it to be. The People would prefer that our town board remain neutral until DEC has a chance to study the matter, and then comment at the appropriate time, and within their given expertise.
Furthermore, our town already has a "pro-drilling" resolution on tap. And this particular resolution isn't so much about pro-drilling as it is about supporting a group in another town to do something that may or may not be allowed.
While the surface talk is all about how gas-fracking is "green" or "more environmentally friendly", remember that the decision to ban HVHF was not just based on the use of mass quantities of water, but also on:
- impacts to public health, including low birth weights, premature births, and increased hospitalizations of people living near drilling sites;
- decreased air quality even if you live hundreds of miles away,
- potential human-induced seismic activity,
- and decreased water quality.
UPDATE: It sounds like one local community is passing on the resolution. Last Thursday the Van Etten town board voted to NOT approve this same resolution. A Van Etten resident who attended that meeting gives her town board credit, saying that they "asked to hear from residents before they voted," and that they decided to NOT pass the resolution "citing unwillingness to stir up the divisiveness of the 2012 election."