Pipeline Through Licking County Should Cause Concern

I’ve been reading quite a bit about a pipeline coming through Licking County to support planned drilling in the Marcellus Shale gas drilling projects to our east. All that I’ve seen so far is excitement coming from our local government. It seems that after a steady decline in the local economy, they’ve found something they can put their name on and lay claim to. That excitement is going to blind them to the potential hazards that this project could bring.

Gas Drilling Rig

I’m not going to write to much on the Marcellus Shale projects. I can’t. I don’t have enough knowledge about the gas and oil industry to defend every detail that I write about. I do know that if you want to see the end results, all you have to do is look to Pennsylvania. Fracking(a complicated process of getting gas out of a well that’s gone dry) has devastated the lives of many and ruined rural land there. Fracking involves pumping millions of gallons of water and hydraulic chemicals into the well to force cracks in it and get surrounding gas to fill the empty well. Along with putting toxic chemicals in the ground, the process also releases chemicals already in the ground out into the environment. The result is hazardous to the health of the population in the area.

I’m not much of a tree hugger. I believe that many potentially harmful practices can have the risk greatly reduced simply by using proper practices. Proper practices usually cost more money, so the only common sense protection is for the law to enforce laws concerning private property. That’s usually not done because the gas industry pays off our legal system and politicians. There’s a lot to the methods used to skirt the law in Pennsylvania. The laws have already exempted the gas industry from oversight. For example, nobody is allowed to question what’s in the fracking fluid. The law protects them from disclosing it’s contents.

Ohioans should be studying what’s happened in Pennsylvania. Marcellus Protest is a good place to start. Use a search engine to look for terms like “Pennsylvania Fracking” too. Some of what you find is horrifying. Wells blowing up in backyards, tap water that you can set on fire, significant rises in cancer and rare diseases, and more. This is not the harmless natural gas industry that we’ve been led to believe for so many years.

There’s big, big money involved. Here’s a Licking County Port Authority CEO finding himself excited at the thought of Licking County, Ohio getting in on the gas boom. I’ve read a lot of his posts and he NEVER mentions any of the hazards experienced in Pennsylvania. No mention of the need to change Ohio law to protect citizens from an industry that most no nothing about. Just as ignorant are the landowners entering into contracts to lease their land to the drilling companies. I don’t use the term “ignorant” in a derogatory way here. I too an ignorant, but how are our politicians and citizens going to enter into agreements with a complicated industry that they don’t know anything about. Who is educated in the gas industry that will look out for the public?

All of us should keep a very close eye on our local government when it comes to their decisions on this pipeline. We all need the work, we could all use the revenue, but remember who we’re letting make these important decisions. Remember the state and local government allowing Longaberger to do as it pleased with the roads? What fruit has that brought us? We don’t need to discount the gas industry as an evil, but we do need local government to give priority to protecting the property and land of it’s citizens over the easy money from allowing the gas companies to operate at their convenience.

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