Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — Thanks for the stories
I appreciate the Record-Eagle for bringing stories to the front page about this land we live in and the water that is our lifeblood. I am referring to the July 30 article about micro-plastic pollution in the Great Lakes and also its link to the article about fracking on Page 3A. And, more appreciation for “Our View” in the paper Aug. 2 about the micro-plastics pollution.
We human beings need this information so that we can change our minds and hearts. We can no longer base our decisions, about anything, on convenience, comfort or cheapness. We share this planet with all of life, and it is far past time for us to grow up and deal with everything based on the Precautionary Principle — First do no harm. Thank you for doing your part, Record-Eagle.
Twice recently the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has tried to entice us into believing that hydraulic fracking “has been used in about 12,000 Michigan wells over the past 50 years without harming the environment.” The statement is disingenuous.
While hydraulic fracking has been in use in vertically-fracked wells for decades, it wasn’t until about 2000 that advances in drilling techniques made horizontal fracking economically feasible. Today, while the amount of water typically used in a traditional vertical well is about 50,000 gallons, the amount used in a horizontal well is five million gallons - 10 times as much; moreover, it uses twice as much frack fluid as the total water in a vertical well. Also, a significant fraction of the frack fluid, usually toxic, remains in the ground after fracking or, alternatively, is hauled away and dumped on local country roads, as residents of Benzie and Kalkaska counties are now experiencing.
There’s little question but that the development of horizontal hydraulic fracking was a game-changer. For the DEQ, charged with the duty to protect the environment, to infer that there’s been no change and that fracking in northern Michigan is unquestionably safe, is reprehensible.