This forum presents an opportunity for the community to respond to local and global environmental issues.
By KXP-On-Cal Reporter Mirthalys Melendez
On April 20, 2012, I attended the African American Men of Westchester's luncheon.
I was given the opportunity to interview Heidi Gogins (Catskill Citizens of Safe Energy)
and Karen Moreau (Foundation for Land & Liberty), both of whom were guest speakers
about a controversial issue known as fracking. This topic may not sound familiar,
but there are many interesting facts about fracking people should know.
What is fracking in simple terms?
K: In simple terms it means High Volume Hydraulic
Fracturing. Fracking is different from dril ing. First
they dril a wel to depths of almost 10,000 feet.
Then a high volume of water and some chemicals
are forced down into the wel through a pipe.
The high pressure of the water, combined with the
solution going through tiny pinholes in the pipe,
fractures or fracks the rock, producing natural gas.
Why is fracking so controversial?
Heidi Gogins, Hugh Marriott, Mirthalys Melendez
H: Fracking is controversial because some of the
and Karen Moreau
oil and natural gas companies haven't been
created by fracking. The pol uted air can travel about
completely forthcoming with what they are doing.
200 miles from where the fracking takes place. As
It's very important to have a lot of information
for people who own farms and live in the countryside,
about what the process is, how it happens, how
they have to worry not only about their water being
it's regulated and how things can go wrong.
contaminated, but also if they live near a fracking
K: Though we have different views on this (referring
site they can become sick because of the air.
to Heidi), one thing we can agree on is that the
Explosions and leaks can occur as wel .
public should be educated to understand how
K: There is a traffic issue, because trucks carry the
fracking works and what it does. Some people think
equipment used for fracking. The process of dril ing
that there should be more regulations, while others
a wel takes only two months; then the traffic is gone.
think there should be less. For example, those who are
There have been over one mil ion wel s fracked,
highly in favor of solar and wind energy might find
without one instance of groundwater contamination.
fracking a threat to their businesses, because if there
The ongoing discussion is about the risk of ground-
is a lot of natural gas produced and the only way it's
water contamination and what could we do to
produced is by fracking, then that low cost energy
gas wil make it less likely for there to be investment
What do you believe is a better solution?
in the solar and wind industry.
H: Transitioning to renewable energy as soon as
Whom does fracking affect more? Should
possible because our climate is already in trouble.
those living in the city be concerned, or is it
We've already had extreme weather events caused
only those who own farms?
by the resources we use. There have been studies
H: Fracking is an issue that affects everyone, one
done that say we can completely live off renewable
reason being that there is a lot of air pol ution
energy for everything by 2030.