“Ban is Only Solution to Fracking” -OSFR Op-Ed in Sun

fracking-infographic

Regulations will not stop the problems that must and will come with fracking: earthquakes, contaminated aquifers, poisoned wastewater with no safe disposal and global warming from methane leaks. Regulations will only serve as a guideline to determine how poisoned we want to be.

The petroleum industry is fighting hard in Florida and they appear to have our legislators in their pocket.  This is a pretty good indicator that indeed they have plans for us, which may come as a surprise to those who scoff at fracking, saying, “that’s never going to happen here.”

Time to wake up and join the fight.  Call the people in power.  This is all over Facebook, check it out and make the calls.  Try to save your aquifer.

Following is the article in the Gainesville Sun, reproduced here with the permission of Nathan Crabbe, for which OSFR  is grateful.    You can see the original article at this link.

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson and Jim Tatum: Ban is only solution to fracking

Published: Friday, April 3, 2015 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 2, 2015 at 5:38 p.m.

Anyone who understands fracking is opposed to it. If they understand it but still support it, then they must be gaining profit from it. There is no gray area with fracking. There is nothing good about it.

There is no such thing as safe fracking. Millions of gallons are used for each and every frack, polluted wastewater results, leaks and contamination of our aquifer are inevitable. Once the aquifer is contaminated it cannot be restored. Fracking is destructive to the earth and living organisms.

Two bills now before the Senate regarding fracking are designed to help the petroleum industry, whose lobbyist has appeared before the committee members saying that fracking is safe. These bills, at first glance, appear to enact stricter regulations but in reality they will enhance and solidify the authorization of the DEP to promote fracking.

Some people may say something to the effect that they are opposed to fracking, but if it has to exist, they want it regulated. This is exactly what the fracking companies want to hear. These bills do nothing for regulation; they create an umbrella under which the industry can continue to destroy our water resources.

Logic says that if an industry is promoting regulations for itself, how detrimental can they be for that industry? On the contrary, the package appears as a good thing, but it is not. For example, the fines for violations will be increased from a non-pittance to an insignificant pittance.

SB 1462 would prohibit local counties and municipalities from enacting fracking bans, something that has started in Florida and which is gaining tremendous momentum, to the degree that it is now terrifying the petroleum industry. This bill would take away the power of the people to regulate what goes on in their neighborhood, and would allow outsiders to exploit their surroundings for huge profits.

SB 1582 provides exemptions that protect oil companies from disclosing what poisons they are injecting into our earth, ostensibly to protect company secrets, but in reality because these chemicals are dangerous to living things. While we may think we know what goes into these processes, they are constantly changing to “improve” their production and will rely on proprietary rights to not disclose to the public, emergency officials or any others directly affected because of this “regulatory” bill.

Contamination is attributed by the industry as percentages and the scientists collect data based on parts per billion. If a chemical cannot safely be put on the soil or in the surface water, how on earth are we agreeing to inject it into our drinking water supply?

Proponents may say the poisons go far beneath the aquifer, but scientists know that fluids rise upward over time, and no one knows what will happen over a period of years.

Regulations will not stop the problems that must and will come with fracking: earthquakes, contaminated aquifers, poisoned wastewater with no safe disposal and global warming from methane leaks. Regulations will only serve as a guideline to determine how poisoned we want to be.

We can argue over how contaminated we want our water; we can sit around in meetings and hearings and negotiate how dead we want our bodies to be. Regulations can be broken with little fear of punishment, not even a slap on the wrist, more like a caress.

There is one solution only and that is an outright ban.

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson is president of Our Santa Fe River Inc. and Jim Tatum is historian. Both live in Fort White.

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