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Commentary: Shale Gas Study Conclusions

Lenore Yarger, Siler City.

The recent DENR hearings in Sanford, Chapel Hill and Pittsboro have caused quite a buzz among NC residents. CWFNC was blown away by these alternative conclusions and recommendations written by Lenore Yarger, a Chatham County resident. Lenore’s family is part of the Silk Hope Catholic Worker community, where she homesteads sustainably and works for peace and justice.

“I share the dismay, confusion, and suspicions of many over the conclusion of your draft report.  As I know DENR is busy and has limited time for their revision, I have helped by writing a new conclusion, which I think better reflects their own research and public opinion expressed at these hearings.  Please feel free to use it in its entirety. 

Conclusions and Recommendations
After reviewing other studies and experiences in oil and gas producing states, as well as our own data, DENR believes that hydraulic fracturing cannot be done safely in North Carolina, even if the proper regulations are in place.  This conclusion is based on the following evidence:

  1. lack of data regarding long-term health effects of fracking on human health and existing evidence of current health effects;
  2. exorbitant water usage and the uncertainty whether the state can meet the water needs of the industry without hurting residents and existing businesses;
  3. mounting evidence of drinking water contamination caused by fracking in both groundwater supplies and aquifers;
  4. promises of jobs that are limited, short-term, and uncertain;
  5. the absence of both an evaluation of consumer protection concerns available for public comment and an assessment of potential environmental justice impacts;

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In conclusion, DENR calls for an immediate and permanent moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in North Carolina. DENR further recommends that any resources considered for additional exploration of the feasibility of fracking in the state be rerouted to truly sustainable energy and the development of  renewable resources.”

Lenore Yarger, Siler City

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