Letter: Don't Ignore Potential of Fracking Industry
Letters to the editor may be emailed to Matt.Fredmonsky@Patch.com
As a Twin Lakes resident, I understand and share Mr. Mallin's concerns about the growing petroleum industry in Portage County ("Approach providing services to fracking with caution," opinion letter in Kent Patch, Dec 7).
Ohio is fortunate to have vast subsurface oil and gas resources and global commodity prices that make extraction profitable now. Concerns on how to best develop any growing industry are stressful, and are also being addressed in Pennsylvania, New York and North Dakota, among others. But I believe that following Mr. Mallin's recommendations would be detrimental to many of Ohio's resources. Let's assume that Mr Mallin's contentions are addressed to his satisfaction, namely: 1) rather than one centralized station numerous site-specific water sources would be utilized; and 2) large users of water would be assessed a higher per gallon charge on water consumption.
One centralized station would be easier to monitor and maintain than multiple well-head-specific sites. I might be in favor of several (2-3) centralized water stations so that each could be efficiently monitored and shut down for routine maintenance without impact on the total system. Does Mr. Mallin believe that the impact on surface, subsurface and personnel resources would be minimized by having numerous individual-well-servicing water stations scattered across the resource area? In Ohio we have excellent state and local agencies who have done a stellar job of balancing responsibilities and keeping up with the growing demand for their services to educate, permit and monitor the growing petroleum industry. All resources must be considered in our decision.
Mr. Mallin supports charging higher per-gallon costs to larger consumers of water. This recommendation would penalize the petroleum operators who, through prudent and successful business practices, grew their company so they could invest more risk capital (more wells) into our state's economy. Continuing with this logic, would we impose the same surcharge on individuals who have a swimming pool or choose to water their lawns in the summer? Would we measure and regulate the length and frequency of personal showering/bathing? Would we ask that big box retailers refuse volume discounts on products, the same discounts that can be passed on to their customers?
We humans are creatures of habit who don't like change. It's just human nature! Fortunately, industrial development, job creation and economic health are "changes" we should embrace to Ohio's status quo of the last several decades. Yes, absolutely, let's monitor and discuss the ramifications to Ohio's resources. But let's look at all resources and see if we can do this without strangling the goose before she can lay the golden egg!
Twin Lakes, Ohio