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Fracking in Longmont Open Space?

Dear Mayor Baum and City Council,

Oil and Money -do mix

I found out several days ago that plans are being prepared by city staff and others to allow for horizontal drilling for natural gas and oil on Longmont city-owned properties, including on Longmont Open Space. Then I find in the City Council Study Session packet for October 18, 2011, that the City is having a conversation with Weld County about how they deal with their gas and oil well drilling agreements. What’s up?

First, before any kind of drilling is approved, I urge our Mayor and City Council members to educate themselves about the dangers of fracking by watching the movie, “Gasland” to get a better understanding of hydraulic fracturing, also know as FRACKING.

Caustic fluids (things such as biocides and breaking agents – very toxic chemical concoctions that are trade secrets) are injected under pressure deep into the strata in order to release natural gas and/or oil that might not be obtainable through regular drilling methods. One of the problems, however, is the forcing of natural gas into places where it doesn’t belong, like in people’s water wells. Just to the east of Longmont, people are able to light the water coming out of their faucets because it is full of methane.

At a recent meeting that discussed the dangers of fracking, a woman from Firestone, where drilling platforms and condensate tanks surround the neighborhood and local schools, told us that people are getting sick. Cancer rates in her neighborhood have risen dramatically and other serious health issues have appeared. Of course, that is in Weld County, where they’ve dug hundreds if not thousands of these kinds of wells. However, Weld County Commissioners appear not to be concerned with the health and wellbeing of their population.

When I heard that Longmont is considering allowing drilling on our Open Space land that is owned by the people of Longmont and close to homes, I was flabbergasted.

Drilling for oil THIS CLOSE to Union Reservoir?! Insane!

By the way, did you know that Fracking requires the use of millions of gallons of water? An initial “Frack” requires one to four million gallons of water. That amount is enough domestic water for 30 to 100 homes for a year. However, since each well requires up to 32 frackings – well, you do the math. In our state, it’s common knowledge that water supplies are already inadequate.

Of course, there is the issue of cleaning up of the injected water. The extracted water sits in ponds to evaporate. What type of chemical soup is in the water? Deadly toxins!

And what about emissions? Fracking is producing seriously harmful air quality problems. In Wyoming, for example, there is a rural town that has the highest ozone levels in the country. Ozone gives lungs a sunburn – did you know that?

Sure, it makes sense to find out how Weld County manages their oil and gas wells. However, given the problems that Weld County is experiencing, you should be running in the opposite direction as fast as you can. It’s a nightmare waiting to happen. But wait, is it all about the money?

Please, don’t allow FRACKING anywhere near our city.