WEATHER »

They’re Fracking Everywhere


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My wife and I, along with our two dogs moved to Harvey’s Lake, Pennsylvania (the state’s largest natural lake). I am just an old retired government worker from Construction Battalion Center, Port Hueneme, and Pam is a retired property manager. We renovated our “retirement cabin” (the move was not for the weather; Pennsylvania has 0% tax on retirement income). Everything was going great. Then the natural gas operators started fracking an exploratory well less than two miles from “our” lake. Our property value and quality of life rapidly went south. We paid over $1,300 for baseline well testing (for two wells) out of not-so-deep pockets. (Note: Baseline public/private well testing is essential if citizens are going to have any chance at legal recourse. Recommend reimbursement of well-water testing expenses as part of California fracking regulations now in draft.)

We returned to our home in Oxnard, California. We had to sell the Pennsylvania cabin at a loss. Both dogs contracted cancer, which we attribute to walking on the radioactive/toxic fracking brine sold as road salt for our winter roads. (Recommend banning this dangerous and greedy practice in California.)

Long story short, we thought we had fracking firmly in our rearview mirror when operators started fracking for oil this time directly up the road from us – on McGrath State beach! Fracking is ramping up big time in California.

However, no one knew this oil fracking was going on since there were (and are) no legal requirements for public notification (we recommend at least 45 days written prior notice).

We are not exactly sure at which tipping point (e.g. degradation in standard of living, loss of property value, loss of our beloved pets, conflicted and ineffective political representation, regulators not doing their jobs properly, etc.) two environmental activists were born. We really want to see more Californians become informed and involved. See how your state elected representative votes for fracking regulations or moratorium. (Note: Just because they are Democrats does not ensure they actually walk the walk, since California has no fracking regs and enjoys a Democratic majority. As for the Republicans – their spots remain intact. Some things you can always depend on).

Since we are not moving again, we decided to fight.

Billy Collins & Aimee Mann

Presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures, Former U.S. Poet Laureate ... Read More