To the Editor: Experience drives anti-fracking stand
Written by Leatra Harper   
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 09:38
I have refrained from submitting a letter about the Charter Amendment (CA) because I might be considered an "outsider" even though I lived in Bowling Green, had a business here for 10 years, sponsored the Earth Day celebration for many years and my husband, daughter and I have all graduated from BGSU. For the last seven years, after my husband's job relocation, we lived in SE Ohio in an idyllic community next to the third largest inland lake in Ohio. Now we wonder where we will live next because of fracking. The gas drillers, toxic waste haulers and largest "conservancy" district in the state have all worked together to frack the area to the point we no longer feel safe or healthy to live there.  It's difficult to witness the heavy truck traffic, clearcutting for pipelines, massive water extraction, air contamination and huge ponds filled with freshwater to be destroyed for a one-time consumptive use for fracking. I started the FreshWater Accountability Project and am helping the CA Committee because I have the research and experience of the industry's impacts and don't want to see it happen here.
I'm dismayed by the political opposition to the CA. A group of concerned people asked the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund to help put a CA on the ballot. The city had the opportunity for input before signatures were collected. Now that the CA is on the ballot, the City has formed a PAC with city officials and others in positions of political and financial power wielding their influence to defeat the people's initiative.  This could have been avoided by working with the committee from the outset.
I hope voters will look at the influence of "outsiders" and differentiate between the industry outsiders who would exploit local resources for exporting profits, and fellow Ohio residents who will be affected by the negative impacts of this industry. I care about BG and have friends here. I may want to live here again. While the landmen seek leases and the toxic waste dumpers eye the landfill and geology of Wood County, opposition against important protections was mounted based upon politics and misinterpretations. We need both a CA and an ordinance to protect ourselves. Fracking is known to divide communities; unfortunately, it is happening here.  Despite the misleading campaign against the CA, please vote YES to protect BG!
Leatra Harper

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