EcoWatch Journal February/March : Page 5

FAITH COMMUNITIES TOGETHER FAith Communities Together (FACT) for Frack FACT welcomed a new member in January—the Awareness formed last June in response to the growing Ohio Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation. They local concern over the extreme extraction industry, in par-will be known as FACT-OV and will serve the Ohio Val-ticular to high-volume, high-pressure hydraulic fracturing ley, including Belmont, Guernsey, Harrison and Jefferson for natural gas, best known as fracking. Counties in Ohio and Brooke, Marshall and FACT consists of 15 Ohio faith organizations com-Ohio Counties in West Virginia. ing from six different • Encouraging of faith traditions— faith communities Unitarian Universal-not to lease parish ists, United Church land for fracking and of Christ, Catholic, to warn their mem-Methodist, Presbyte-bers to not lease their rian and atheist—and personal land for spans eight Ohio fracking. counties, including FACT has Cuyahoga, Lake, formed a letter writ-Geauga, Mahoning, ing committee made Trumbull, Portage, up of clergy and lay Belmont and Sum-persons to develop mit. FACT has 93 letters to relay this participating indi-warning. viduals who range • Convincing faith from active members communities to help of religious congrega-pass federal, state tions to individuals and local laws that who are approaching Ohioans participating in the rally on the steps of the Ohio Statehouse on protect our water Dec. 10 show their home-made signs protesting the fracking practices going environmental topics on in their state. and air, and human from a moral or spiri-health and safety. tual perspective. Eight FACT members attended the S top the Madness FACT draws upon the technical and scientific No Frack Ohio Rally at the Ohio Statehouse on Jan.10. expertise of the Network for Oil and Gas Accountability The purpose of this gathering was to urge Gov. John and Protection (NEOGAP), an Ohio-based group that Kasich to protect the environment and public health by is organized to educate, empower and advocate for the passing SB 213/HB 345, which would impose a mora-citizens of Ohio who are facing threats to health, safety torium on fracking permits and wastewater disposal and property rights posed by oil and gas development. injection wells. A FACT member congregation, Unitar-FACT draws upon the cultural and faith based expertise ian Universalist Church of Youngstown, Ohio served of several of its members who are part of various clergy. as headquarters for a bus transporting citizens from FACT recognizes the ethical and moral challenges that Youngstown to the rally in Columbus. fracking creates for the land and for people. • Urging faith communities that we must conserve energy As members of faith communities in Ohio, FACT and protect our potable water, and develop, promote and works to protect God’s Creation from the harm caused incorporate truly clean, renewable sources of energy. by the extraction of resources such as oil, natural gas, coal The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congre-and other non-renewable sources of energy. FACT will gations Green Sanctuary Program is a model for this achieve its mission by: practice.The voluntary program provides a framework for • Educating the public about these issues, including harm congregations and congregants to proclaim and live out to our clean water resources, especially those caused by their commitment to the Earth. high volume, high pressure hydraulic fracturing for natu- Would you like to learn more about the extreme ral gas. extraction industry and fracking? Would you like to learn FACT distributed to its member congregations and of ways your faith organization could become involved individual members a copy of the DVD Ohio, Get FrAC-with the issue of extreme extraction and fracking? Would Tive! to help educate and communicate with congrega-you like to find refreshment and rejuvenation as you seek tions and communities. The video looks at the problems to lead a green and faithful life ? If so, consider attending fracking brings to health, safety, economy, property rights the next monthly FACT meeting. and values, and discusses methods of educating neighbors Anyone is welcome to attend as a representative of a and local government leaders about fracking and signing faith organization (church, temple, mosque and others) drilling leases. or simply as an individual participant. The next monthly • Supporting efforts to end the exploitation of work-FACT meeting is Saturday, Feb. 11 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. ers and landowners involved in these activities, many of in Kent, Ohio. This meeting is to be followed by a “no whom are impoverished and disadvantaged. fracking” rally and march. The rally and march is from FACT is reaching out to poor, rural communities 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. beginning on Main Street in Kent. throughout the eastern areas of Ohio to help provide For more information on FACT or the upcoming information about the potential hazards of signing leases, monthly meeting, email Kristina at kis@wowway.com. recognizing that income and job opportunities are desper- For more information on NEOGAP visit ately needed. www.neogap.org. WHAT IS FRACKING? What is Hydraulic Fracturing? Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is a means of natural gas extraction employed in deep natural gas well drilling. Horizontal hydrofracking is a means of tapping shale deposits containing natural gas that were previously inaccessible by conventional drilling. Once a well is drilled, millions of gallons of water, sand and more than 600 proprietary chemicals are injected, under high pressure, into a well. The pressure fractures the shale and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well. Fracking and Water Hydraulic fracturing uses enormous quantities of fresh water, which oil and gas drilling crews take from nearby streams, ponds and rivers, or truck in if there is no immediate water source. Every time a gas well is fracked, 4 to 9 million gallons of water are injected into the ground. A single well can be fracked up to 12 separate times, adding up to more 100 million gallons of freshwater used in the lifetime of a well. Some of the fracking fluid used in the process of breaking apart the shale remains underground, but a large majority of it comes back to the surface mixed with hazardous chemicals, volatile organic compounds, and even radioactive material that was trapped underground and released in the process. With millions of gallons of hazardous liquid created during this process, a major challenge for the oil and gas industry and regulators, has been the disposal of this toxic byproduct of fracking. In states like Colorado, Texas and Wyoming, often this wastewater is left to evaporate into the air, with the final thick sludge taken to landfills. This evaporation process has led to dangerous air quality in some areas with gas drilling, and toxic exposure for many residents. In less arid climates evaporation is not an option, so gas companies often dispose of the wastewater in municipal water treatment facilities or truck the wastewater to a disposal well and pump it back underground. Public water utilities are inadequately equipped to process the highly toxic liquid, so the wastewater ends up receiving minimal treatment and is released into rivers and streams still containing many dangerous compounds. Injection of wastewater into deep wells is now being blamed for seismic activity in many areas, including Youngstown, Ohio. Learn More For more information on fracking and the latest developments worldwide, visit EcoWatch.org. WWW. ECOWATCH.ORG FEBRUARY -MARCH 2012 • ECOWATCH JOURNAL • 5

Faith Communities Together

Faith Communities Together (FACT) for Frack Awareness formed last June in response to the growing local concern over the extreme extraction industry, in particular to high-volume, high-pressure hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, best known as fracking.<br /> <br /> FACT consists of 15 Ohio faith organizations coming from six different faith traditions— Unitarian Universalists, United Church of Christ, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian and atheist—and spans eight Ohio counties, including Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, Mahoning, Trumbull, Portage, Belmont and Summit. FACT has 93 participating individuals who range from active members of religious congregations to individuals who are approaching environmental topics from a moral or spiritual perspective.<br /> <br /> FACT draws upon the technical and scientific expertise of the Network for Oil and Gas Accountability and Protection (NEOGAP), an Ohio-based group that is organized to educate, empower and advocate for the citizens of Ohio who are facing threats to health, safety and property rights posed by oil and gas development. FACT draws upon the cultural and faith based expertise of several of its members who are part of various clergy. FACT recognizes the ethical and moral challenges that fracking creates for the land and for people.<br /> <br /> As members of faith communities in Ohio, FACT works to protect God’s Creation from the harm caused by the extraction of resources such as oil, natural gas, coal and other non-renewable sources of energy. FACT will achieve its mission by:<br /> <br /> • Educating the public about these issues, including harm to our clean water resources, especially those caused by high volume, high pressure hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.<br /> <br /> FACT distributed to its member congregations and individual members a copy of the DVD Ohio, Get FrACTive! To help educate and communicate with congregations and communities. The video looks at the problems fracking brings to health, safety, economy, property rights and values, and discusses methods of educating neighbors and local government leaders about fracking and signing drilling leases.<br /> <br /> • Supporting efforts to end the exploitation of workers and landowners involved in these activities, many of whom are impoverished and disadvantaged.<br /> <br /> FACT is reaching out to poor, rural communities throughout the eastern areas of Ohio to help provide information about the potential hazards of signing leases, recognizing that income and job opportunities are desperately needed.<br /> <br /> FACT welcomed a new member in January—the Ohio Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation. They will be known as FACT-OV and will serve the Ohio Valley, including Belmont, Guernsey, Harrison and Jefferson Counties in Ohio and Brooke, Marshall and Ohio Counties in West Virginia.<br /> <br /> • Encouraging of faith communities not to lease parish land for fracking and to warn their members to not lease their personal land for fracking.<br /> <br /> FACT has formed a letter writing committee made up of clergy and lay persons to develop letters to relay this warning.<br /> <br /> • Convincing faith communities to help pass federal, state and local laws that protect our water and air, and human health and safety.<br /> <br /> Eight FACT members attended the Stop the Madness No Frack Ohio Rally at the Ohio Statehouse on Jan.10. The purpose of this gathering was to urge Gov. John Kasich to protect the environment and public health by passing SB 213/HB 345, which would impose a moratorium on fracking permits and wastewater disposal injection wells. A FACT member congregation, Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown, Ohio served as headquarters for a bus transporting citizens from Youngstown to the rally in Columbus.<br /> <br /> • Urging faith communities that we must conserve energy and protect our potable water, and develop, promote and incorporate truly clean, renewable sources of energy.<br /> <br /> The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations Green Sanctuary Program is a model for this practice.The voluntary program provides a framework for congregations and congregants to proclaim and live out their commitment to the Earth.<br /> <br /> Would you like to learn more about the extreme extraction industry and fracking? Would you like to learn of ways your faith organization could become involved with the issue of extreme extraction and fracking? Would you like to find refreshment and rejuvenation as you seek to lead a green and faithful life ? If so, consider attending the next monthly FACT meeting.<br /> <br /> Anyone is welcome to attend as a representative of a faith organization (church, temple, mosque and others) or simply as an individual participant. The next monthly FACT meeting is Saturday, Feb. 11 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in Kent, Ohio. This meeting is to be followed by a “no fracking” rally and march. The rally and march is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. beginning on Main Street in Kent.<br /> <br /> For more information on FACT or the upcoming monthly meeting, email Kristina at kis@wowway.com.<br /> <br /> For more information on NEOGAP visit www.neogap.org.<br />

What Is Fracking?

What is Hydraulic Fracturing?<br /> <br /> Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is a means of natural gas extraction employed in deep natural gas well drilling. Horizontal hydrofracking is a means of tapping shale deposits containing natural gas that were previously inaccessible by conventional drilling. Once a well is drilled, millions of gallons of water, sand and more than 600 proprietary chemicals are injected, under high pressure, into a well. The pressure fractures the shale and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well.<br /> <br /> Fracking and Water <br /> <br /> Hydraulic fracturing uses enormous quantities of fresh water, which oil and gas drilling crews take from nearby streams, ponds and rivers, or truck in if there is no immediate water source. Every time a gas well is fracked, 4 to 9 million gallons of water are injected into the ground. A single well can be fracked up to 12 separate times, adding up to more 100 million gallons of freshwater used in the lifetime of a well.<br /> <br /> Some of the fracking fluid used in the process of breaking apart the shale remains underground, but a large majority of it comes back to the surface mixed with hazardous chemicals, volatile organic compounds, and even radioactive material that was trapped underground and released in the process. With millions of gallons of hazardous liquid created during this process, a major challenge for the oil and gas industry and regulators, has been the disposal of this toxic byproduct of fracking.<br /> <br /> In states like Colorado, Texas and Wyoming, often this wastewater is left to evaporate into the air, with the final thick sludge taken to landfills. This evaporation process has led to dangerous air quality in some areas with gas drilling, and toxic exposure for many residents.<br /> <br /> In less arid climates evaporation is not an option, so gas companies often dispose of the wastewater in municipal water treatment facilities or truck the wastewater to a disposal well and pump it back underground. Public water utilities are inadequately equipped to process the highly toxic liquid, so the wastewater ends up receiving minimal treatment and is released into rivers and streams still containing many dangerous compounds. Injection of wastewater into deep wells is now being blamed for seismic activity in many areas, including Youngstown, Ohio.<br /> <br /> Learn More <br /> <br /> For more information on fracking and the latest developments worldwide, visit EcoWatch.org.

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