This is a story that refuses to go away. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management plans to hold an open house on Thursday April 25th from 5-8 pm at the Gateway Park Lodge in Montgomery. Notice this is being held in Montgomery, nowhere near the Talladega National Forest. If officials really cared, this meeting would be held in Anniston where the fracking plans will affect people the most. By the way, the Gateway Park Lodge is a 9-hole Executive Golf Course where executive suits could be making decisions and doesn’t care about the average people around them, basically it’s about money!
I have talked about the fracking issue on Geek Alabama before. Fracking is the injection of high pressure chemicals with water to get through several layers of earth to extract oil and natural gas. Many local people so far is against the fracking idea. From this map below, you see the areas being proposed for fracking.
Some of the lease areas proposed in the map above are right next to wilderness areas. White Plains Middle and Elementary School is right next to a lease area. And think about this, would you like to look at the views of Mt. Cheaha and see fracking sites? I hope not!
The reasons why many local residents are against fracking is simple. The people do not want harmful chemicals pumped into the ground in which it could pollute the water supply. 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? These chemicals could also pollute the water supply for the entire Anniston / Oxford area. If fracking becomes reality, you might as well kiss Anniston’s eco-tourism chances goodbye!
Many local residents are coming together against the fracking plan. Even the Southern Environmental Law Center is threatening legal action to stop fracking in the Talladega National Forest. If fracking becomes reality, it will bring back 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 by 60 Minutes. Simply; this is a plan many people in this area do not support because we have been polluted enough. The people want to live in a clean and healthy environment.
The question I have to ask is 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) does not care about cars any more. 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. I am glad to see the City of Anniston wanting to become a bike friendly city! This is something that is needed to be done. There are so many things you can do without driving in a car. If we do not start building walkable and bikeable communities; future companies will just skip the state of Alabama. And we will be screwed. We need to keep our forests and environment clean and chemical free!
I hope enough pressure is put on the officials so the fracking plan in the Talladega National Forest is killed for good! We do not need chemicals pumped into the ground! If you want to learn more about this issue, read this article from The Locust Fork News-Journal, this is worth your time! http://blog.locustfork.net/2013/04/fracking-in-the-talladega-national-forest-is-not-in-the-national-state-or-local-interest-2/
- Report highlights problems with fracking database (okcfox.com)
- Why Ban Fracking? | Food & Water Watch. Petition your state. (friendnature.wordpress.com)
- Protest Against Fracking (wnep.com)
- Prof says fracking has sordid track record (mtstandard.com)
- Agency nears decision on fracking in George Washington National Forest (newdayunderwriting.com)