LETTER: Fracking brings problems for many, prosperity to few

Oct. 12, 2013 @ 04:57 AM

To the Editor:

I’ve read [Tuesday’s] article on how Mr. [Jim] Womack defended fracking at the public policy luncheon. Could it possibly be true that the average five million gallons required by each fracking well would be easily available from the Deep River? North Carolina has more drought problems each year. I cross the Deep River when I drive to Sanford. I see rocks, but little water.

I challenge Mr. Womack’s idea that fracking brings prosperity. It brings money to a few, but it ruins the environment for everybody within 15 miles. About 30 percent of fracking wells leak. Pennsylvania, which had a $392 billion tourist and farming industry, lost much of that, and the fracking brought in only $22 billion.

I’ve admired Lee County’s strategy of attracting clean industry. Fracking creates an industrial landscape, quite dirty. The fracking wastewater, as new studies show, is a huge problem. Once it’s polluted and radioactive, I doubt it could be safely handled so that our land, water and air were free of its pollution. In Pennsylvania, the fracking companies pay people not to talk about their new health problems. They have to pay huge fees to have drinking water trucked in. Children couldn’t go to school or people get to the hospital for several weeks while all the fracking equipment was brought in.

Thank you for publishing more information, which is increasingly available, for example the recent Duke University study. I wouldn’t recommend your paper or its readers rely either on Mr. Womack’s “facts” or what our DENR has to say. They’ve been rendered powerless by the rush to frack. They turned back an EPA grant designed to ensure our water wasn’t polluted by fracking, and weren’t given the opportunity, the staff or the time to study the issue carefully.

Judy Hogan