Make Fracking Practices More Transparent

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Target: John Kasich, Governor of Ohio

Goal: Create stronger fracking disclosure laws in Ohio

Recently in Ohio a fire started at a fracking plant. Before firefighters were able to fully extinguish the blaze, there were around thirty explosions which catapulted shrapnel into the air, and tens of thousands of gallons of chemicals ran into local water sources. This killed around 70,000 fish, as well as polluted the water to an extent that officials do not even totally understand. The safety and environmental implications are horrible — chemicals have been released into the ecosystem of the area.

The underlying issue here goes beyond this specific case. In Ohio, and in many other states, there are incredibly lenient fracking disclosure laws. This means that a company can open up a plant and begin fracking without disclosing to the government what chemicals they are using. Usually, these chemicals are contained, but in cases where they do leak, it becomes much harder for public entities — like firefighters — to properly deal with the situation. They just do not know what chemicals are in the leakage, and as such they cannot properly stop fires or ameliorate the situation. Only six of the thirty states where fracking happens require that the company disclose the hazards they use.

This particular fire should be an alarm for the country. We need fracking disclosure laws. We need more information if fracking is happening — although in the long term, fracking is environmentally detrimental and should not be happening at all. However, in the meantime, as we transition away from fracking, we do need it do be done safely. We, as citizens and as government leaders, should know what chemicals could be leaked into our water and air. Also, there should be more public oversight of these fracking plants, and more monitoring of its environmental effects. We are calling on Ohio Governor John Kasich to begin this change by implementing fracking disclosure laws in his state.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Kasich,

In light of the fire stemming from the fracking plant in Clarington, Ohio, we are writing to you today to call for a change. We believe that fracking as it happens now needs to become more transparent. In events such as this, the problem is only worsened when the people trying to put out the fire do not know exactly what started it. Therefore, we want you to begin the movement to create disclosure laws, so that the government and public at least know what chemicals are being used at fracking sites.

Fracking is fairly deleterious to the environment, as most people know. However, it would not make any sense to call for an immediate end to fracking altogether. We believe that until fracking is not necessary, we need to know exactly what is happening at fracking sites. We need information, and enacting such legislation in Ohio could lead to a nation-wide movement for transparency in fracking.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: BotMultichillT via Wikimedia Commons

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