Source : Mountain Messenger
Excerpt from Peggy Mackenzie’s article in the Mountain Messenger:
We are seeing profit-hungry motivated behavior mount as gas drilling companies scramble for leases in karst country. Like any “gold rush,” the money is so good. Karst topography is a landscape created by groundwater dissolving sedimentary rock such as limestone, according to the website watersheds.org. Karst makes our Valley especially vulnerable when it comes to drilling.
As information streams in concerning the use of hydraulic fracture drilling for natural gas in the abundantly rich shale fields around the country and especially the Marcellus shale which lies beneath West Virginia and other states in the eastern US, it has been pointed out that natural gas is cleaner that coal and oil. Lawmakers, and members of the oil and gas industry along with the media have jumped on the bandwagon touting natural gas as America’s latest clean energy effort.
But, as Myles Yates of SaveTheWaterTable.org says, “Get it straight: Natural gas extracted by way of hydraulic fracture is NOT clean energy.”
Yates, a Monroe County resident, states firmly that “…it is important to note that those statements refer exclusively to the BURNING of natural gas. It does not and cannot possibly refer to the process of extraction, or hydraulic fracturing – a largely unregulated process that exists in its current format solely because the companies that perform it have been exempted from the Clean Water Act.
“Make no mistake,” Yates goes on to say, “contaminating our water supply in the process of harvesting a clean-burning fuel is NOT CLEAN. Spraying a mix of water, sand, and nearly 600 chemicals (including carcinogens and nuerotoxins and more) into the ground by the millions of gallons (only to recover 10-50 percent, leaving the rest deep in the ground) is NOT GREEN.”
All this has bearing on the health of our watersheds in West Virginia. Water is the real gold. We have it in abundance and take it for granted.
According to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), there are more than 500 gas wells in the state targeting the Marcellus shale formation. Like most states where such gas drilling has occurred, West Virginia has experienced its share of contamination problems and other issues linked with fracking operations.