Thursday, May 31, 2012

FRACK YOU: "Get used to it."

Jeff Dick is the Chair of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Youngstown State University, and a proponent of fracking. His past with the oil and gas industry has led him to trust them so much so that he has leased his own land to a company to frack for natural gas. He believes that the environmental regulatory agencies of Ohio are doing a good enough job to keep him safe from the potential ill effects of fracking. In fact, he believes that fracking causes little to no ecological harm or pollution. To those people who oppose fracking in rural Ohio, in what Dick has called his little "patch of paradise", he says, well, "Get used to it."
...[J]ust like in those other states [like Texas] where the culture of the people is very accepting of it, I believe with time, the culture of people here in Ohio is going to shift to where they say this is acceptable. Obviously to a lot of people it won't be acceptable, but probably...a good number of people, and I'd suggest probably...a majority of people, because that's where we're at right now, I believe, are accepting of this industry. You have to keep in mind, and this is very important, that eastern Ohio has been economically depressed for a very long time. And so, this is a big opportunity for new industry to come into this area and provide new jobs and all sorts of economic growth opportunities. And that's quite frankly why the majority of people throughout this region are behind this oil and gas development.
So, let us take sand from Leopold's Sand County in Wisconsin so that those in Ohio and North Dakota and Pennsylvania and New York can shove it, mixed with proprietary chemical blends, deep into the ground so that we can the energy we want today. Let us take so much sand away that sand no longer remains in Sand County. The lure of temporary jobs paying eighteen dollars an hour that result in nearly permanent geologic and ecological degradation can be too much for county boards to resist. And be sure to know that your wastewater treatment facility is doing all that it can to keep your drinking water safe from the chemicals.

You see, it just takes getting used to. Just like people in Delray eventually got used to noxious fumes from an incinerator in their backyard. Just like the people in the Maldives will get used to their country being submerged bit by bit into the ocean because of climate change. It'll be a few years before their country is entirely gone. By that time, they will have gotten used to it, because when it comes down to it, oil and gas is here to stay.

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