Impacts of hydraulic fracturing are alarming

Impacts of hydraulic fracturing are alarming by Heidi Strohmyer, July 22, 2012, Billings Gazette
I am student at Montana State University, and I recently wrote an in-depth research paper for my environmental history class on hydraulic fracturing. What I found in my research on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing is truly alarming. Toxic chemicals are used at every stage of development to reach and release gas. Dr. Theo Colborn, president of the Endocrine Disruption Association and former advising panelist at the EPA, reports that: “In addition to water contamination issues, at each stage of the production and delivery, tons of toxic volatile compounds, including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzine, xylene, cadmium, etc., and fugitive natural gas (methane), escape and mix with nitrogen oxides from the exhaust of the diesel-driven, mobile and stationary equipment to produce ground-level ozone. Ozone not only causes irreversible damage to the lungs, it is equally damaging to conifers, aspen, forage, alfalfa, and other crops grown in the west. Ozone plumes can travel up to 250 miles.” In May, the state of Vermont was the first to ban hydraulic fracturing. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin stated, “This bill will ensure that we do not inject chemicals into groundwater in a desperate pursuit for energy.” The citizens of upstate New York were also successful in protecting their land and watershed after a massive public outcry and celebrity support — launching Artists Against Fracking (.com) to rally celebrities who support a ban on fracking. How can our senator Jon Tester, an organic farmer, and our governor Brian Schweitzer, a former member of the Montana USDA Farm Service Agency, allow this risky and chemically laden process to occur in our great state? We must unite as residents and stewards of these beautiful Rocky Mountains and insist that a ban be placed on hydraulic fracturing on a state and county level.

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