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Letter to the editor: Don’t allow fracking

To the editor:

I am vehemently opposed to permitting “fracking” in Kansas, which the Journal-World has described in a recent article on Oct. 25, 2017. As a scientist, I have read many reports over the past few years regarding the harmful environmental effects this technology has caused.

Three states, Maryland (March 2017), New York (2012) and Vermont (2012) have all banned fracking, also known as UOGD or unconventional oil and gas development, as have five counties in California. Pennsylvania has many reports of health problems and water contamination. Oklahoma has seen a dramatic rise in earthquakes due to the disposal of waste water by injection deep into the earth. The waste water from this process is saline and contains dangerous toxic chemicals known to cause health problems including benzene, a known carcinogen, toluene, a neurotoxin and hydrogen sulfide, a lung irritant which can cause asthma. To learn more about this subject, check out “earthjustice.org” or many other internet sources. I urge our officials to deny permits to use this technology just five miles south of Lawrence, Kan.

Comments

P Allen Macfarlane

Dr. Wetzel,

"As a scientist, I have read many reports over the past few years regarding the harmful environmental effects this technology has caused." Your degrees are in?

Since you mention harmful environmental effects, I would be interested in knowing if these effects you cite are from fracking or from the disposal of fracking fluids and saltwater using injection wells. To my knowledge (I'm a retired hydrogeologist) no environmental effects have been found due to disposal using injection wells. Injection of these fluids takes place in zones thousands of feet below the base of any fresh ground water source. So, contamination of water supplies is highly unlikely.

I will not dispute that disposal increases the likelihood of earthquakes. We've known that since the late 1960s when disposal of wastes by injection at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal caused earthquakes to occur in the Denver area. I remember as an undergraduate at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden being in my dorm room there and experiencing one of those quakes. Funny how the oil industry ignored that historical fact when it tried to cast doubt on the effects of injection from disposal of fracking fluids on earthquake occurrence in Oklahoma and southern Kansas.

3 weeks ago

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Francis Hunt

P Allen, not sure where you got your information but the paper work from Midstates Energy said the injection for each of the three wells ranges from 720-771 feet with a total well depth of around 829 feet. This is not as you say "thousands of feet below the base of any fresh ground water source."

3 weeks ago

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P Allen Macfarlane

I stand corrected. In many cases, such as the injections being done in southern Kansas and Oklahoma, the wells are more than a 1000 feet deep. However, in this local case, the injections will be done far enough below the base of freshwater that contamination is still highly unlikely. Another point to make is that in Kansas water is not injected under pressure from the surface. This means that water will enter the injection zone only at the rate that the zone can take it in naturally - another safeguard.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Chuck Wehner

The alternative to not fracking is to once again depend on foreign sources for our energy needs. I'm totally against going down that road again. I'm also for alternative energy sources to reduce our need for fracking.

3 weeks ago

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Steve Jacob

Agreed. Remember the "No blood for Oil" signs? This is it.

3 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

Or converting to sustainable sources, improved gas mileage in cars, public transportations, electric cars, etc. Decrease the demand or, rather, need for oil.

3 weeks ago

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Bob Summers

Lubrication is needed for productive fracking.

Let's not sweat the small stuff.

3 weeks ago

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Dave Lee

lol. google city of Denton and fracking. they tried to outlaw it. texas legislature forced the city to allow fracking.

2 weeks, 2 days ago

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