As we move toward a cleaner, more renewable, energy future, we hear a lot of talk about natural gas filling the gaps in our energy portfolio. There are estimates predicting that, locked in shale rock miles underground, there exists enough natural gas to heat our buildings, generate our electricity, and run our vehicles for the next century or more.
The problem has always been how to access those reserves. For that purpose, drilling and extraction companies have devised a new process: high-volume horizontal drilling coupled with hydraulic fracturing -- also known as "hydrofracking," or simply, "fracking." The exact details of the process can be found here, but the salient information is this: fracking drills deeper vertically and farther horizontally than traditional drilling methods, uses at least 100 times more fresh water, injects toxic chemicals into the ground, and leaves a huge waste disposal problem in its wake. Not surprisingly, states that have used fracking extensively have paid for it in the form of all manner of public and environmental health problems -- unsafe (sometimes flammable) drinking water, higher toxic air pollution levels, and soil and water contamination.
Clean Water Action believes that, because our current regulations on fracking do not adequately protect our residents' health or our state's invaluable water resources, we must delay natural gas drilling in Michigan until critical accountability measures are implemented. A complete list of our proposed reforms can be found here.
Sign our petition urging Governor Snyder and the legislature to delay natural gas drilling in Michigan until responsible, transparent, and safe measures are put in place.