A friend forwarded the note below relating a number of meetings that are planned by your organization. Based on the email, I assume the intent is to inform the public on facts regarding oil and gas development in Michigan, which is a noble goal. Unfortunately, the note ends with this erroneous quote,
"Operators in the state have used hydraulic fracturing to maximize well production on more than 12,000 wells since the 1952 without harming surface or groundwater. "
This is untrue on multiple levels, and I am shocked and embarrassed to see this continuing error being propagated by your organization. The implication in this statement is that there is an equivalence between the high volume, high pressure, chemical-laced hydraulic fracturing at the center of contention and debate (here and elsewhere) and low volume, low pressure, non-chemical (or low chemical) fracturing used in the past. In fact, the current "fracking" that many are concerned about was pioneered in the 90s and is the reason for the current shale "boom" - there is no equivalence, particularly when it comes to the issue of potential impact and groundwater safety. The continued mantra that MDEQ attempts to mislead the public with - that it has been used since the 50s and is safe - is a complete and utter sham, and you should be ashamed. Further, the idea that there has been no harm to surface or groundwater caused by oil and gas operations, or hydraulic fracturing, has two issues:
- That the State simply does not continually monitor the area surrounding wells in any meaningful and long term fashion, thus has its head in the sand and has no true idea of the damage that has occurred.
- That the State has attempted to ignore/hide problems that have occurred. Dr. Christopher Grobbel, a former MDEQ staffer and current consultant, was quite forthcoming in explaining how MDEQ has an internal list of ~700 oil and gas contamination sites known in Michigan since 1986, and how one major list of Michigan contamination sites was intentionally deleted by MDEQ in 1995. His presentation is publicly available at http://banmichiganfracking.org/?p=915.
Mitchell M. Rohde, PhD
Lodi Township Resident
Mitchs' letter to the MDEQ was in response to their annoncement below.
Ed Golder, 517-335-3014, firstname.lastname@example.org
Leasing and fracturing key agenda issues for public forums
The DEQ today announced three public information meetings scheduled in key areas of the state to help residents better understand the process for gas and oil development in Michigan.
The meetings, scheduled for Troy, Muskegon and Traverse City, will include presentations by DEQ and Department of Natural Resources experts to outline how the state leases and oversees development of gas and oil deposits while protecting the environment and public health.
The DNR will host a biannual mineral rights auction May 9 in Lansing, and officials want to give residents who live in the affected 17 counties an opportunity to better understand the process and get answers to questions.
The following public meetings will run from 6:30 to 9 p.m.:
April 30 -- TROY: The Management Education Center (MEC)
Eli Broad Graduate School of Management
811 West Square Lake Road, Troy, MI 48098
May 1 – Muskegon: Stevenson Center, 1100 Lecture Hall
Muskegon Community College
221 S. Quarterline Road, Muskegon, MI 49442
May 2 – Traverse City: Holiday Inn West Bay
615 East Front St.
Traverse City, MI 49686
Michigan has a long history of developing gas and oil reserves, dating back nearly 90 years. Operators in the state have used hydraulic fracturing to maximize well production on more than 12,000 wells since the 1952 without harming surface or groundwater. While market prices have subdued development for the past few years, regulators expect future growth and want to inform interested residents about how the process works and what they can expect.