By: Wayne Stiles
My wife and I are leaving North Carolina after 12 great years. We're leaving before oil and gas industries remake this state into something unrecognizable and unlivable.
They're starting with pristine western counties, injecting nearly 600 chemicals, sand and water into the ground beneath your lovely state.
Each well, hundreds of them, requires more than 1,000 heavy truck trips, tearing up roads. Each "frack" requires between 1 and 4 million gallons of water. Most chemicals mixed with the water are proven carcinogens and 50 percent of them remain in the ground.
Recovered fracking fluid is stored in open pits, like coal ash ponds. Sound familiar? Imagine webs of muddy dirt roads crisscrossing your area, mountains changed to create flat basins for drilling rigs. Beautiful.
The sad truth is the majority of the gas extracted is scheduled for export to Europe where prices are much higher. Domestic gas prices will then rise. Neighbor will be pitted against neighbor as some sell out to the frackers to the detriment of others.
Studies of existing US wells show that poor cement casings cause between 5 and 10 percent of wells to leak immediately. Over a 20 year span, more than 50 percent leaked, allowing fracking chemicals to enter ground and other water bodies.
Did you know fracking can be done beneath your property without your permission? Thank your state assembly for that.
And the crowning insult, McCrory and the legislature, while cutting support for education and refusing to improve Medicaid, have approved millions of your tax dollars as startup subsidies to an industry that reaped $93 billion in profits last year.
I implore you to educate yourselves. Read the "Energy Modernization Act."
Watch the HBO documentary Gasland. Visit FrackfreeNC.org. Then decide whether a few temporary jobs are worth destroying North Carolina's ground water, property values, and tourism while big energy companies continue to make billions.