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Letter to the Editor

A call for care in fracking decision

May 23, 2012 - Dear Editor,

Independence Township is considering allowing natural gas drilling in the township. I wanted to be sure you were fully aware of the process in extracting this resource.

The first step is drilling a vertical hole, or well head, which has to be permitted. The second step is to collect this gas, which will involve horizontal drilling coupled with multi-stage hydraulic fracturing. This slick water horizontal fracturing procedure is known as "fracking", which is very different from the gas drilling techniques historically used in Michigan. This does not have to be permitted or regulated.

Because Congress exempted this unconventional type of fracking from the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act in 2005 the gas drilling industry has not had to disclose what chemicals they are using or their effects on our environment. To frack, millions of gallons of "slick water," which is made up of undisclosed toxic chemicals and water, have to be mixed , pumped, stored and disposed of. Most of this process is done above ground, while the actual fracking is done at the bottom of the well. If a well doesn't respond this process might be repeated several times.

Because our local area and whole state is geologically more sensitive than most other states, I would not recommend allowing this unconventional fracking procedure to happen. Why would we allow this to happen when this is banned in Vermont, plus counties and cities in several states, with even more areas considering banning or putting a moratorium on this process. I would wait until we know how environmentally safe this type fracking is.

If you would like more information on this subject, visit

Steve McPherson

White Lake Townsip

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