We must care about fracking

By From page A6 | January 28, 2014

By Barbara R. Burr

The tentative ruling on Davis’ water rates announced last week by Yolo Superior Court Judge Dan Maguire points toward the probability that water use in Davis soon will become very costly. Our concern about water, however, needs to be much broader and include more than our local fears about cost.

During Gov. Jerry Brown’s State of the State speech last Wednesday, there was a rally at 11th and L streets in Sacramento about hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. More than 100 organizations have banded together to object to this means of oil and gas exploration, and still, many people do not know what it is or how it will affect each of us.

What you don’t know about fracking — and your lack of involvement to learn about it — may result in a much larger cost concerning water and our quality of life across this entire state.

SB 4 was signed by the governor and will allow the exploration of gas and oil in our state by the system known as fracking. This requires the use of up to 4.4 million gallons of water, with or without the addition of acids, for each well attempted. That’s equal to water use by 11,000 families in one day, or six Olympic-size swimming pools.

That water is then so polluted it must be contained, stored and monitored beyond our lifetime. Under drought conditions or not, is this how you want our clean water supply to be used?

If you care about the availability of water now and for the future, learn what this assault on our air, water, health, seismic activity and economy is all about. Fracking financially benefits a narrow segment of our population, but it endangers everyone’s quality of life. Join with others asking the governor for a moratorium on fracking until these important concerns can be more fully explored for solutions.

As long as we continue to prolong the use and support the fossil fuel energy policies in place, we will delay development of renewable and more Earth-friendly energy sources.

Here are some of the organizations I know are focused on this and can provide more information and suggestions about how to help and where to express your concerns: Credo, Democracy For America, Food & Water Watch, the Grange and MoveOn.Org.

Another rally is scheduled for Saturday, March 15, in Sacramento. Consider standing up for yourself, your children and future families by joining this effort. Now is the time to call out the governor on this issue, before irreparable harm has been done.

— Barbara R. Burr is a Davis resident.

Special to The Enterprise

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