Get issue on the ballot
Recent exposure of the on-site water shortages experienced by Encana Corp. as it attempted to frack a new well in Kalkaska County highlight the dangers of the new technology for extracting natural gas.
The new horizontal drilling technology requires massive amounts of groundwater to complete the fracturing process. One well in Excelsior Township used 21 million gallons of fresh ground water, taken for free from the aquifer and contaminated with toxic chemicals. It must be reinjected into the ground when it flows back to the surface, gone forever from the hydrologic cycle and gone from our rivers and streams.
These industrial operations must stop immediately. A request for a withdrawal of 31 million gallons for another well has not been turned down. Those of us who value the water in Michigan must act now. A ballot initiative is circulating which would amend an existing state law so that it bans horizontal fracking and fracking waste. The Committee to Ban Fracking, at letsbanfracking.org, has volunteers at many events in the area. Let’s get this on the ballot in 2014 so citizens can decide if they want their water destroyed to extract natural gas for export.
The writer is President of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation
Remember the intangibles
It was with great sadness I learned of the passing of Bryan Crough. Friend, mentor, counselor, brother in many ways, Bryan personified the energy and vitality he left in his considerable wake.
I remember meeting him on his first day at the Old Town Playhouse, back in the 80s. He came in with that self-effacing laugh and laid-back manner, immediately capturing all of us with his sense of humor and boundless enthusiasm. Though we hadn’t communicated regularly much lately, any time we did, we picked right up where we left off.