Wildlife Federation Sounds Alarm on Fracking in OH, MI

Sadly, we have to add the National Wildlife Federation to the list of rabid anti-drilling groups. In fact, a check of the NWF website shows they’ve drunken so deeply from the anti-everything pool they’re beyond redemption. The latest “wild” charge they’re making (pun intended) is that natural gas drilling, specifically fracking in Ohio and Michigan, will use excessive amounts of water from the Great Lakes and is an imminent danger to people and animals.

Laws in Ohio and Michigan will not adequately protect the Great Lakes basin from huge water withdrawals to fuel an expected shale oil and natural gas drilling boom, a report from the National Wildlife Federation charged Thursday.

There are few deep hydraulic fracturing wells within the watersheds in either state now, but the interest is there.

The only active such well within the Lake Erie watershed in Ohio is in Geauga County, according to Sara Gosman, the wildlife federation water resources attorney and a University of Michigan law lecturer who wrote the report with students.

"There is certainly leasing [of rights] in that area," she said. "Chesapeake is leasing. BP is in Trumbull County. The potential is there."

So far, the focus of hydraulic fracturing has been on eastern Ohio from the Mahoning Valley south. But while far from Lake Erie, the rivers and streams that feed the lake reach well south of the lake to encompass roughly a third of northern Ohio.

Michigan has a history of hydraulic fracturing, but improved technology has led to more interest recently in deep wells that pose a greater threat to the watershed, according to Grenetta Thomassey, program director of the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council in northern Michigan.

"This lull is no indication of the kind of activity we’re going to have if they strike it rich, if you will,” she said.*

If you love animals, donate to your local SPCA shelter and forget about sending money to the NWF.

*Toledo (OH) The Blade (Jun 22, 2012) – Oil, gas drilling laws called lax