As House Republicans go to Ohio to push hydraulic fracturing, they ae met with dozens of angered and protesting residents that are working against fracking and the environmental concerns that may come with it.
In recent months and even this past year, it has been a growing trend for corporations and politicians alike to use the lagging job market as a crutch for their desired production or services. For example, a couple weeks back Spark News discussed how certain Republicans and medical device producers were urging for legislation that would speed up the amount of time the FDA takes to approve medical devices and implants. They touted jobs creation and used it as a ploy to try and get the public’s opinion on their side for what they wanted. In reality, the jobs created would come at a very high price for American’s seeking joint implants.
In a somewhat similar situation, Republicans are pushing for hydraulic fracturing in eastern Ohio stating that it would bring thousands of jobs to the area and cut fuel costs. However, the residents of the area are protesting the fracking until there is more research conducted on it and more regulations imposed for the safety of those that live in the area. Christine Hughes, owner of the Village Bakery and Catalyst Cafe in Athens, Ohio is a resident and business-owner in the area and is one among many of the protestors. She was quoted saying, “Shale drilling and the disposal of its waste products are an imminent threat to my livelihood. No one has done a study to find out the impact of devastating this local food economy.”
Hughes made her statements at a hearing in Steubenville, where officials of the state and energy industry were also heard saying standards have been introduced to ensure fracking is done safely. In fact, U.S. Representative Bill Johnson said at the hearing that hydraulic fracturing could create 200,000 jobs in the area.
To understand the environmental outcomes of fracking, it’s important to understand what it is. Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is the process of blasting shale, or sedimentary rock, with water, sand and chemicals thousands of feet under the ground. The process releases trapped gas in the shale and has led to the decrease of fuel prices for heating and power generation for certain areas. On the other hand, many people believe that this process greatly pollutes the drinking water in the areas surrounding. Other environmental concerns include earthquakes close to the fracking site. The Ohio residents aren’t protesting the fracking completely, but are instead urging lawmakers and the government to put a stop to the practice until the EPA completes its study in 2014. What are your thoughts on fracking? Do you think it’s economical or unsafe?