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Anti-Fracking Movement Coming to Kent

Grassroots organization planning march and rally on Feb. 11, Town Meeting on Feb. 17.

The anti-fracking movement is coming to Kent, a municipality not currently home to any controversial hydraulic fracturing wells. But there’s nothing stopping anyone from establishing them within city limits.

That’s why Shalersville resident Mary Greer, representing one of several anti-fracking groups now operating in Portage County, is trying to raise awareness through a march, rally and town meeting in February.

A “March Against Fracking” will start at 11 a.m. Feb. 11 at . Attendees, led by musicians, will march to the rock at ’s historic front campus, then back to The Kent Stage.  A rally will be held either inside the theater or at , weather-depending. The speakers will be Dr. Ted Voneida and Jaimie Frederick.

An anti-fracking Town Meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17 in VanMeter Hall at , featuring speakers Vanessa Pesec and Ron Prosek.

Greer said the meeting’s purpose is to “discuss the problems related to fracking and what action residents can take. We want all of Kent to come and hear what they can do, because every voice is going to count in this fight.”

The anti-fracking movement has been picking up steam, with opponents voicing the most concern over the possible contamination of public drinking water. In response to those concerns, among others, the United States Environmental Protection Agency launched an in-depth study of the issue in November.

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“We’re at a watershed moment in history,” Greer said. “We can hang back and do the old things and pay the price, or we can step forward and insist on our rights to clean water, clean air, clean land and really insist on new energies.”

Greer is bringing the fight to Kent because she and her husband, George Sosebee, are both former city residents who intend to move back. Greer still has family living in Kent, and it’s where she spends most all of her free time.

“We rely on Kent’s health and welfare, even though we’re not registered voters there. It is our emotional, psychological, social, cultural and economic anchor,” she explained.

Greer also recognizes there is a large eco-conscious population in Kent.

“I feel that Kent could be the model for all the towns around to say, ‘It’s time to think about sustainable, renewable energy and to stop squeezing the last drop of fossil fuel out of our land at such a high cost of negative consequences,” she explained.

“Why have we not asked our oil and gas industries to come and help us start research institutes to develop new ways to find energy or to apply new energy technologies that we already have? We don’t need to just say ‘no’ to fracking. We can say ‘yes’ to so many new technologies,” she added.

Greer said a well head can be established on property as small as two acres. Also, wherever there is land that can be pooled with other land, leasing is possible. There are at least four fracking wells in Portage county.

Fracking opponents are also concerned about the creation of injection wells, which are depositories for flowback wastewater from fracked wells.

“Pennsylvania has made the disposal of that toxic water illegal in their state, so Ohio is accepting it instead,” Greer explained. “Injection wells are springing up everywhere. Currently there are at least four injection wells in Portage County being used to dump fracking fluid wastewater.”

A meeting hosted by Faith Communities Together in early January at the attracted about 60 fracking opponents representing numerous grassroots organizations. Greer said all in attendance said they planned to attend the march and rally on Feb. 11 in Kent and will try to attract national media attention.

“There are four or five citizen groups in the area and all are working together. We’re all on the same email lists, we go to each other’s meetings and provide each other with documents and research,” Greer explained. “It’s going to take all of us to create change.”

* January 30, 2012 at 03:28 PM
GRANGER TWP.: A federal health agency says potentially explosive levels of natural gas at two houses in eastern Medina County are a public health threat. The problems in the two drinking water wells appear linked to the nearby drilling of two natural gas wells in 2008, says the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That news contradicts repeated statements from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources on the connection between the drilling and problems at the two houses at State and Remsen roads. http://www.ohio.com/news/local/three-years-after-drilling-feds-say-natural-gas-in-medina-county-well-water-is-potentially-explosive-1.255525
Myron Holley January 31, 2012 at 06:45 AM
Gee maybe we will have a earth quake and roll them on there march. This so called federal health agency is a Obama group which is intent on stopping oil and gas production here in the U.S. No drilling, no pipe line, No off shore. Costing billions of lost dollars Plus tens of thousands of jobs. High cost of gas, Lost small business, etc. But then Kent state is a good place to start with. They have the nutty professor who is helping to fund the Arab terrorists to kill our sons, daughters, and way of life. Rather then fire him. Or maybe its the fracking thats doing the crazyness in Washington. Causing the down ward loss of jobs, Cancer, robberys, fights, home repo's. etc. It can not be Obama and his crankys,
Myron Holley January 31, 2012 at 06:47 AM
For got to mention maybe it is still George Bush's fault.
demo rat January 31, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Hey Myron - your comments about "arab terrorists" are as offensive to me as those made by "nutty professor". You cannot (one word) exercise your free speech while bashing another's. And "forgot", also, is one word. and so is "earthquake". Furthermore, you might want to make these corrections also: "an" earthquake, "so-called", "an" Obama, "pipeline", "off-shore", "than", "that's", "craziness", "downward", "robberies", "crankies". Your words might hold more value to others if you use and spell them correctly...
* January 31, 2012 at 05:50 PM
http://www.wisconsinwatch.org/2011/07/31/sand-mining-surges-in-wisconsin/ Sand mining surges in Wisconsin State feeds national fracking boom; health, environmental concerns rise
Wade January 31, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Myron is right. Think of all the new small businesses and jobs fracking can bring to the Kent area. New structural engineering jobs, disaster clean-up businesses, underground plumbing and septic jobs, and even a cottage wall-hanging industry.
demo rat January 31, 2012 at 10:04 PM
and no wacky signs for any of these new businesses, please!
Nawar Alsaadi February 01, 2012 at 05:19 PM
The solution for fraccing pollution is waterless fraccing; Gasfrac has done over a 1000 fracs with gelled propane; you don’t need any water; you don’t produce any waste fluids (no need for injection wells); no need to flare (no CO2 emissions); truck traffic is cut to a trickle from 900+ trips per well for water fraccing to 30 with propane fracs; and on top of that the process increases oil and gas production; it is a win for the industry, a win for the community and a win for the environment.

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