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A ghoul in a child suit

November 12, 2011
The Inter-Mountain


The kind of fracking, or fracturing, we are facing today in no way resembles the quiet, nonthreatening techniques for oil and gas drilling of earlier times. This is why the industry has been touting its new method, newly named "fracking," and geared toward fracturing very deep rock formations (Marcellus and Utica rock layers in the Appalachian region).

Your Nov. 1 editorial misrepresents this new, highly invasive approach to our national thirst for fuel. In this Halloween season, it seems you are dressing a ghoul in a child's suit.

Each new gas well requires 5 million gallons of water. We do not have water to spare. West Virginia has been one of the last strongholds of drinking water; and when we have enough here, we have benefited from exporting it to an increasingly drought-ravaged world.

I appreciate your support of full disclosure of the deadly chemicals involved in breaking through deep layers of hard rock to drill for natural gas. You state that 99 percent of the fluid used to frack a well is water. You neglect to mention that since each well requires so much fluid, that 1 percent of the toxic chemicals amounts to a great deal: 50,000 gallons of poison per well.

The oil and gas industry does a cruel deed when it offers large checks to people with limited means. It will take all the strength we have to reject the offer and remind ourselves that there is no free lunch. People nationwide are losing their water and becoming seriously ill from well fumes on their land. They made the mistake. We must learn.

We owe it to ourselves and our neighbors to get our water tested before it becomes contaminated, because unfortunately the holding tanks can and do leak. Learn from the West Virginia Surface Owner's Rights Organization, We owe it to the land, the water and our descendents to pull off the industry's mask of innocence and find the fortitude to say no to oil and gas drilling.

Carrie N. Kline




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