Shale, yeah, This is Important!

Appalachian Roadcut
Image by fred1st via Flickr

If you’re not current with the issues surrounding the drilling and “fracking” of horizontal bores into deep Appalachian shale for the purpose of methane extraction, it’s important that we become informed NOW so that public involvement can bring this industry into compliance with the Clean Air, Clean Water and Clean Drinking Water acts.

The Haliburton Loophole exempted gas fracking (or hydro-fracturing) from these important regulations. Our ground and surface water is at stake.

Serving Suggestion:

Read my short overview article I’ve uploaded to Scribd.

Then go to the Natural Resources Defense Council page where you can write your own or sign a prepared statement to your state lawmakers asking them to sign a bill that would close the Haliburton Loophole for the shale drilling industry.

You’re welcome to modify my statement if you’d like:

Dear Virginia Lawmakers,

Floyd County where I live is not located over Marcellus shale. But like mountaintop removal for coal, all of us are connected to the consequences of this new form of energy mining when we use the products in our daily lives.

I am concerned that the so-called Haliburton loophole is allowing unsafe practices that could cause very long term harm to our ground and surface water, air and human health.

Please do not let our energy supply come at the expense of our health or cause further depletion to our diminishing volume of safe water for drinking and agricultural use.

H.R. 2766/S. 1215 asks no more than that the shale oil drilling industry comply with the same standards that are incumbent on other extractive industries. Please close this loophole now for the people of the states where the drilling is already taking place, and for those of us who want to use the generated methane and its derivatives with a clean conscience.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Thanks for the link to the Natural Resources Defense Council. I have already gone and signed a letter to my legislators. This madness is insane and has to be stopped before pure, clean water is endangered to the point that only rich can afford it!

  2. Bill,
    Isn’t that the point? That only the rich, legislators among them, can afford it? There was an article in The Guardian that said that there is no more compassion in this country any longer.