The other day our elected officials stood on the steps of our state capitol and spoke out in the interest of these corporations and demanded that we "show them documents" to prove our state is negatively impacted by shale gas development. We've shown them videos of burning faucets in our state, we've shown them FLIR GasFind IR videos of pollutants being dumped in our air, we've shown them water test reports with diesel fuel and other toxins listed and we've shown and told them personal stories about people being bullied and told that these corporations were coming onto their land whether they liked it or not.
Whether people have "documents" or not they still have a right to be heard by their elected officials and those elected officials have an obligation to investigate each and every complaint.
I really like the author of this letter in the Sun Times.
She speaks the truth.
Heber Springs, Ar.
Remind politicians who they represent
Our legislative representatives, Josh Johnston and Jason Rapert, are members of the “shale caucus”. This group opposes all legislative proposals that will increase any oversight or place any restrictions on the gas industry. They oppose bills to establish a gas-well inspection program, bills to protect our roads, air and water (ground water, lakes and streams), and a bill to increase bonding to protect Arkansans from holding the toxic bag if companies go bankrupt or fail to meet their clean-up responsibilities. Our quorum court just passed a resolution (drawn up by the industry and distributed to all Chambers of Commerce and Quorum Courts in the Fayetteville Shale play), concluding with the following statement: “Now, therefore, the Cleburne County Quorum Court does hereby resolve to oppose any and all of the current severance tax increases on natural gas. We also oppose all of the currently filed regulatory measures on gas gathering operation in the Fayetteville Shale.” This was approved, despite the fact that they admittedly did not know the specifics of any of the pending bills. The industry argues that if Arkansas enacts restrictions or oversight, they will take their business elsewhere, a scenario that is unlikely to happen, considering the amount of investment they have already made here. Even if they do leave, the gas will still be here, and the demand for that gas will increase in the future. It would behoove us to remind our elected representatives that while Chesapeake, XTO and other developers may be their benefactors, they are not their constituents.