Monthly Archives: February 2012

Live Call-In Show On Fracking at WOUB

On Tuesday, February 28, at 8:00 PM, Athens’ local public broadcast station WOUB will host an hour long call-in show on the fracking frenzy in our county.

For more information on the show and to find out exactly who is on the panel, check out the story on WOUB’s website.

Postscript: The show is available as a full-length video documentation on the WOUB Special Coverage “Fracking Frenzy” page. Also, the Athens News had an in-depth article on the show in its Feb. 29 article WOUB panel explores ins, outs, pros, cons of fracking.


The Shale Gas Myth — Part 1: Unquestioned Assumptions

A Response to Robert W. Chase’s article “Five Myths About ‘Fracking'” in the Akron Beacon Journal, Jan 26, 2012

Part 1: Unquestioned assumptions about Shale Gas Extraction

By Bernhard Debatin

In his recent article, Robert W.  Chase claims that those who oppose fracking have presented “at least five fallacies … to the public as truths.” He then goes on to state that these “untruths” could be used as an “excuse for foot dragging” on extracting what he praises as “more than 100 years’ worth inexpensive, environmentally attractive energy.”

Before examining his attempts to demonstrate these “untruths,” it is noteworthy that Chase himself employs three popular, yet unfounded myths in this opening statement. These myths have become widely accepted ideological assumptions in the discussion about fracking. Therefore, it is necessary to take a closer look at them: Continue reading

Ruminations on Fracking and the Moratorium

By Bob Sheak

As I understand it, the goal of SD-FRAC is to support a moratorium on the whole process that culminates in hydraulic fracturing and the release and recovery of methane from shale rock. Following are some thoughts about strategy and goals of this endeavor.

A Moratorium

A moratorium seeks to keep fracking in all of its aspects from commencing until it is proven by careful inspection and perhaps scientific studies that it will not pollute surrounding air, water, and soil or present potential harm to the health of people and other living beings, or result in the stripping of woodland, etc. A moratorium would also require the gas/oil companies to specify how they would safely deal with the waste water and other contaminants produced in the fracking process. Some of the requirements would have to be set by the state and others by the county. Yet others by the federal government (see also the SD-FRAC article Here’s why Ohio needs a moratorium on fracking). Continue reading

Debate over fracking pits one type of economy against another

By Alyssa Bernstein

This piece was published earlier as a letter to the editor in the Athens News, Feb. 8, 2012.

The Athens County Commissioners, who may soon vote on a proposed resolution regarding fracking (the oil and gas drilling method that in its relatively new horizontal application fractures deep layers of shale by injecting massive amounts of toxics-laced water at high pressure), have said that they are working to find a compromise that balances economic and environmental interests, according to a Feb. 2 report in The Athens NEWS.

The simple belief that fracking creates an opposition between economic interests and environmental interests, which many people hold, seriously distorts the realities and leads to seriously wrong decisions. The conflict in Athens County is between some residents’ economic interests, which depend on preserving the county’s clean water, air, soil and ecosystems, and other people’s economic interests, which they want to advance in ways that will, foreseeably if not intentionally, harm other residents in both the short and the long term. Continue reading

Athens County Commissioners Likely to Vote Fracking Resolution

This coming Thursday, the Athens County Commissioners are likely to vote on a resolution about fracking. The meeting will take place on Feb. 9., 9:30 a.m., in the Athens County Courthouse’s Annex, second floor.

You can express your views in advance by contacting the commissioners: 

Continue reading