To the Editor: BG needs fracking amendment as much as elephant hunting law
Written by Joe Terry   
Saturday, 02 November 2013 09:21
To the Editor:
To those proposing the amendment to the city charter, I feel that they should also add a proposal outlawing the hunting of elephants and the taking of big game fish.
On the face of it, this sounds ridiculous. There are no elephants here and we aren't near an ocean. So what does it have to do with fracking? The better question is; what does fracking have to do with Bowling Green? To those who know the history of the oil industry here in Wood County and those counties that lay within the same oilfield, it is a well known fact that the oil played out by the 1920s.
This is not due to a lack of product, but a lack of pressure to extract the oil from the ground. By 1913 there were an estimated 23,000 holes dug into the Trenton limestone in Wood County alone. It was a common practice to blow a well using several gallons of nitroglycerin. When a sufficient amount was in place, a heavy device was dropped in to set it off. It was essentially an early and primitive version of fracking.
It is the reason that the ground water supply south of Route 6 has hydrogen sulfide contamination. Gases leaking from active wells seeped in. Sometimes there gases exploded killing and maiming those unlucky enough to be nearby. Successful wells were under pressure, and often spilled oil for days before they could be capped. It seems to me these men created a disaster a century ago. Read up on your history. There was a time (1888) when the Portage River was in flames because someone set the thick oil floating on its surface aflame.
Your concerns are legitimate but unfounded. The chances of fracking coming to Wood County are slim to none. Essentially, you're trying to pass a change for the better, for a problem that will never come to pass.
It is reminiscent of a story my father once told me. Little Johnny was outside beating pots together, making a racket. His mother finally came outside and asked him what he was doing. "Scaring away the tigers!" he replied proudly. "But son, there are no tigers here!" she cried. "Exactly," he retorted proudly, "my banging has driven them away!" Consider carefully if this amendment is not the same thing.
Joe Terry
Bowling Green

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