This story has caused a lot of controversy in the Anniston/Oxford area. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management plans to lease small pieces of land inside the Talladega National Forest to companies planning to use drilling or fracking to get natural gas and oil. Here is a map from the Anniston Star of the areas under review to be leased.
Fracking is the injection of high pressure chemicals with water to get through several layers of earth and extract oil and natural gas. Many local residents that live close to the red areas in the map above are not happy about this plan at all. Even the Southern Environmental Law Center is threatening legal action. Some local people have no access to water pipelines and have to rely on wells for water in rural areas. So if we are injecting chemicals into the earth are we also polluting their water sources? Like the people in Wyoming who can light their water on fire.
The only good thing about this plan is it might bring new jobs to an area that is in desperate need for jobs. So we are having to way to pros vs. cons in this issue. The Anniston/Oxford area is in desperate need for new jobs. I still can not even find a job and have been out of work for around 10 months now. But this fracking plan might relive the memories of the PCB pollution and the chemical weapons incinerator the Anniston area has had to endure. This area has been named the most polluted city in America. Simply; this is a plan many people in this area do not support because we have been polluted enough.
So why is this country not looking at weaning ourselves off of oil and gas. Most of the Millennials (or people under age 30 like me) just do not care about cars any more. Why would GM use MTV to try to sell cars to this age group. Some Millennials still do not even have a driver’s license in their twenties. We see the writing on the wall. Gas prices are going to have a hard time going back down because of demand around the world. And drilling more will not bring the price down much.
Millennials want to live in communities where you can walk or ride a bike to get to the store, work, or have some fun. We also want great mass transit options. Which the state of Alabama lacks. Alabama has got to start investing in mass transit. Which will require state funding. And we need to quit planning on building multi-billion dollar road projects such as the Birmingham northern beltline. If we do not start building walkable communities; future companies will just skip the state of Alabama. And we will be screwed.
I wish more people would value Millennials like me. A study has even come out saying that most people think Millennials are lazy and unmotivated. Millennials just want a chance to change the world. Is that too hard to ask?
- Ann Welch for Anniston Mayor (geekalabama.com)
- US fracking rules let drillers flare till 2015. (uk.reuters.com)
- Government geologists admit fracking causes earthquakes in New Madrid Seismic Zone (fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com)
- Wyoming governor decries planned federal fracking rules (fourbluehills.com)