Dear Senator Davis,
My name is Tyler Cook, and I write to you under the gravest of circumstances. As a Maconian, I have agreed and disagreed with different beliefs that you have taken with you to Raleigh. And as a resident of North Carolina, I would have to say the same for our state legislature. Our recent voting laws, our school budget cuts and our state school calendar are just a few things that I disagree with. But the recent news coming out of Raleigh has caused me great alarm, and I must plea with you on behalf of Macon County citizens.
Hydro Fracking is a controversial issue that has brought very heated discussions in our country over the years. Fortunately for us though is that while some states were discussing and even using this method of extracting natural resources from the earth, North Carolina remained silent. But as years have passed, and the use of this method has become more frequent, our state leaders have shown support for this, and even proposed bringing it into our state.
In case you aren’t fully aware of Hydro Fracking and the process it takes to extract the natural resources, it is a very complicated and dangerous concept. According to the Remediation Technologies Screening Matrix and Reference Guide, it begins with the injection of water into the ground until the pressure creates a fracture. Some wells can be drilled as far as 10,000 feet below the surface. Coarse-grained sand and guar gum gel is then inserted and the fracture grows. The sand grains hold the fracture in place while an enzyme is injected and breaks down fluids. The thinned fluid is broken down, and pumped from the fracture to form a channel to recover any vapor or liquid below. This process can be done several different ways with different methods and materials for extraction.
But an extraction of this nature does not come without its consequences. In addition to the fracturing of the ground and the releasing of gas, carcinogens, toxic sludge and other highly toxic substances also are released. Some common ingredients include hydrochloric acid, ammonium, potassium, sodium salt, and many others. And because of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Hydro Fracking was left unregulated by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The result of this includes the contamination of your water supply and endangers the lives of humans and pets in the surrounding area.
Thanks to WLOS 13, I was alerted of an article, provided by News Observer, announcing the proposal to have residents extract their natural resources under their home and farms and sell them, whether they want to or not. Once I read this I felt anger, sadness and finally disappointment towards our state legislature because a fear that has been tucked in the back of my mind had been realized. Because this recommendation has been approved, it will go to the state legislature in hopes that it will also be approved there.
Why is this such an important issue for me, you ask? I have had the privilege of taking environmental classes at Southwestern Community College and Western Carolina University, and I have learned and seen the true horrors that can result from environmental hazards, Hydro Fracking being one of the most threatening and impacting hazards in our country. These classes have opened my eyes to things I would have never thought of in the past, and has lit a fire in me to defend the home that surrounds me.
I know I am only one person in Macon County, who is far beyond the ears of Raleigh, but I plead with you to show your opposition to this. Yes, this isn’t an immediate threat to Maconians because this will only be affecting Lee, Moore and Chatham counties right now. But once North Carolina approves of fracking to begin there, it won’t stop. They will continue to spread this process throughout the state until it finally reaches our doorstep. And by then, it will be too late to show remorse or regret for what we have allowed into our home.
I encourage you to research on this and to seek counsel. There are many citizens and teachers in the area that are as alert of this as I am. I’m sure they will be happy to express their opinion, as well as the facts on this matter. Be 100% sure of the facts before you approve or disapprove of this policy.
As you can tell, I am very passionate about this, and I knew that I had to plead my case to you. Otherwise, I knew I would regret knowing I had the chance to tip the scales and not take it. This is not a debate involving politics. This is a debate of morals and ethics and a challenge to see if we have what it takes to do what is right. Every individual in Macon County may not have a vote on this, but they do have the vote on other things, and I trust that Macon County will put this debate and your decision into consideration when they vote.
I urge you to join me and pledge your support not to just Macon County or North Carolina, but for the interest of this great nation.
Macon County Resident
Because people believe more can be done, and because I believe more want to get involved, I made a petition that will be sent to the NC House and Senate. Sign it here and share it.