LETTER: More answers are needed on fracking

Oct. 25, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

To the Editor:

I was not able to attend the Chamber's meeting with Mr. [Jim] Womack from the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission. The question about the availability of water for the fracking operations is something I have questioned from the beginning. For the last few years in the summer, we have been warned not to wash cars or water our lawns. If the water supply in our rivers remains about the same, I think we will have to stop watering our grass and washing our cars.

[The] next question [was] about what the area would look like after fracking. Mr. Womack’s answer to this was that he couldn’t lie about this because there are always growing pains. He stated that property taxes would go up tenfold. He also stated that the median family income would go up 50 percent. The truth is that we will have the landscape dotted with well heads and holding lagoons for toxic waste. What happens when you have a flash flood like we had in Chapel Hill back in the spring where we had 10 inches of rain over a few hours?

We all know about lagoons and waste. Back in the 70s and 80s, we had hog waste lagoons south of us; flood waters breached these lagoons, and the waste went all the way to our coast — where it wiped out the seafood supply for years. Take Colorado, they use open lagoons to store toxic wastewater. They just had a flood, and 1,900 wells had to be shut down. Where did the toxic waste go?

The last question from John Ramsperger [was] about the low price of natural gas now. It's about supply and demand. We are producing a lot more gas now than we need. There are now 22 requests to export the excess to foreign countries by big oil. Overseas, the price of natural gas is five times our rate, so a lot of money is at stake. When we get back to a normal supply of gas due to exporting our surplus, the price here will go up three- or fourfold. We need more answers from our government.

Bob Holder
Swann Station