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Pelham residents urge ‘fracking’ ban

Michael Hussin of Pelham said the group Neighbor to Neighbor has been meeting for over two years and will outline its environmental concerns about fracking. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. Feb. 13 in the Rhodes Building.

Hussin said members want the panel to consider adding by-laws that would ban fracking in Pelham as well as the transportation, disposal and storage of fracking waste products.

Hussin said in an email that he believes Pelham would be the first town in Massachusetts to institute such policy.

Elsewhere in the United States, over 400 cities and towns as well as the state of Vermont have instituted bans.

“While it is unlikely that drilling will occur in the Valley or Pelham, technological developments and financial demands for gas production could leave us wishing we had done something while we had the chance,” Hussin said in a statement.

State Rep. Ellen Story, D-Amherst, is the co-sponsor of a measure that calls for a 10-year statewide fracking ban. The House and Senate Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture has voted to advance the bill.

Abbie Jenks, a member of Neighbor to Neighbor, said it is good that legislators see value in a ban, but cautioned that the public must also speak out.

“Bills in the Legislature have a way of quietly dying in various committees unless there is a strong show of support and determination from constituents,” she said in a release.

Legacy Comments4

Fracking is the only thing that is keeping our morbid economy alive by lowering the price of natural gas (that and quantitative easing which is like a junkie shooting up heroin - its going to kill us in the end). Fracking will allow us to become energy exporters in the next few years. Anyway if the pipeline is not built to the US, the Chinese have already committed to buidling it to the Canadian west coast and they will ship it to China. Its going to get used no matter what. The world has an insatiable need for cheap carbon energy. 7 billion people want the same lifestyle you enjoy. Get used to it. More cars, more houses, more people flying. Soon there will be 10-20 billion people on earth. Get used to it. If you want to sit in the dark and freeze turn your furnace off. The rest of us don't want that future. I'm investing in fracking companies. Come join me in this wonderfull journey to a prosperous future for 20 billion people - buy shares in FRAK (trades on the nasdaq).

At what expense, Gary? Chemicals used in the fracking process have contaminated ranch and farm land, water, and air. Ranchers in Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Louisiana, and New Mexico have been reporting health problems and incidents of dead and tainted livestock, due to elevated levels of contaminants from nearby wells. A well-known professor conducted and wrote a study which found that these fracked wells leak an enormous amount of methane - a gas that is 72% more potent than carbon. Texas lakes have been drained because of 2 events - severe drought and the millions of gallons of water it takes to frack one well (6-8 million gallons per well). Dallas, TX will not allow fracking!!

Perhaps the measure Rep. Story has co-sponsored should come with an amendment that would make it illegal for any citizen of the Commonwealth to take advantage in any way of the economic and ecological benefits that the natural gas boom has provided other regions -- not to mention the country at large. Maybe it should henceforth be illegal for any electricity that reaches Massachusetts households to have been generated by natural gas plants. So what if we end up using more coal and nuke, and our prices skyrocket? We will have made a brave stand, and Ms. Story would have appeased her base. Now, if Pelham wants to remain behind on this, that's their problem. But please, let the rest of us enjoy the benefits of technology and modernity.

Apparently you have not done research on fracking. Earthquakes, water well contamination are only the beginning. The water contamination has been covered up by the EPA and the gas companies - home owners have to sign huge non-disclosures in order to get compensation to leave their contaminated land and house. If you can't frack in Dallas, TX, then you know there is a real problem (yes, the Dallas city council passed an ordinance a few weeks ago that is so strong that there will never be fracking allowed within the city limits.

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