A People's Hearing on Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, has quickly become a top environmental danger here in the United States. With the director of “Gas Land” getting arrested not too long ago, this “questionable practice” used by big energy companies to drill for natural gas is now in the limelight…and not in a good way. Hydro fracking's advocates say that despite the negative environmental effects it does benefit society and has been touted as a potential jobs generator in some communities. According to advocates, hydro fracking for domestic natural gas would also lessen the country's dependence on foreign energy, which is great - but at what cost? For the uninformed, let me press the rewind button and catch you up on the whole hydrofracking issue. There is a great big gigantic piece of prehistoric rock known as the Marcellus Shale, that is located deep under ground in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia. Big energy companies have discovered that just beneath and around this rock exist sizable deposits of natural gas and, naturally, these companies saw huge money making opportunities. Hydraulic fracturing was developed and determined by these companies as the best drilling practice to mine this domestic source of natural gas. The drilling process involves the use of hydraulic pressure mixed with deadly gases injected into the ground to break up the Marcellus Shale rock. Once this rock is broken up, energy companies can easily access the natural gas deposits. One of the major issues with hydrofracking is that it contaminates our water supply. Even though most fracking rigs are located in or near rural communities this environmental danger is something that effects people in different dwellings. Just ask the State of Pennsylvania where fracking is legal and large gas corporations, like National Fuel Gas, have been openly engaging in this harmful process. The city of Pittsburgh (you know where the Steelers and Penguins play) banned the practice in 2010, but their drinking water was still contaminated. Frack water runoff made it impossible for residents to bathe or drink properly for months. People living near or in the city of Pittsburgh were advised to drink bottled water and to bathe in short intervals. In New York the decision to allow hydrofracking is still up in the air. That's why people in several communities across the state thought it high time to conduct “A People's Hearing on Fracking”. This event, scheduled for Saturday, June 2, at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, will begin at 10 a.m. The “Hearing” will feature speakers, art and music to illustrate hydrofracking's dangers. Guest speakers from many backgrounds will speak about hydrofracking's unfriendly intrusion into our environment. California environmentalist Ruth Breech, Sara Buckley from Western New York Drilling Defense, Rita Yelda of Food and Water Watch, Dr. Jill Kriesky of the University of Pittsburgh, Bruce Fisher of Buffalo State College, and the attorney for the Onondaga Nation Joseph Heath are set to speak at Saturday’s “Hearing.” No one likes to be put on the spot, but New York State it looks like you are. When big energy company's decided to push for hydrofracking in our state they not only put us on the spot; they put us in danger. When big energy company's decided that bigger profits for the 1 percent where more desirable than protecting precious resources like water that we the 99 percent need to survive, they put us on the spot. No one likes being put on the spot but they've marked the spot on New York and they plan on digging for gold no matter what the cost…and that ain’t right. So, see you there!