By: Carley Posey
Since 2014, the state legislature has been mulling over the idea of fracking underneath the Ohio River. In December they finally passed the motion to do so, but many residents of the state are not happy and it could really destroy our environment. The decision to so is said to possibly bring millions of dollars into the state, but at what cost?
Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth and using high pressure water to remove the gas under the earth’s surface. While the advantages of fracking are that you are able to get gas and oil from deep in the earth that other methods may not be able to reach, the controversy and hatred for it see to outweigh the good.
Sign at a anti-fracking protest. thinkingpress.org
The worries are that it uses so much water that once used becomes contaminated. Environmentalists worry about the possible cancer causing chemicals leaking out and contaminating even more water in the form of groundwater sent out into the nearest town. The usage of water is also a major concern, as it can take between 1-8 million gallons of water to do one fracking job.
When West Virginia legislature gave the okay to drill under the Ohio River they were told they could make money and would get paid per acre from the companies involved. Right now 12 miles of the river would be affected, but as many as 9 more are under discussion.
The Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition is just one of the groups fighting the ruling. Their biggest concern is the disposal of the waste from fracking and how they will get the supplies down the river on barges. They don’t want anything or anyone to be contaminated, and it seems as though there is a very real possibility it could happen at some point.
While other groups like the Wheeling Water Warriors who have taken to sending around a petition against the Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. The Ohio River runs into the Mississippi though so this fracking and the potential of contamination could affect more than just West Virginia. The water from the Ohio River runs straight down to the Gulf of Mexico. It would be a shame for the beautiful Ohio River to be lined with water trucks and rigs.
The Ohio River during summer.