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The Debate on Fracking

The Oradell Environmental Committee held a recent presentation on fracking for natural gas.

The Oradell Environmental Committee hosted a recent event about fracking, a method for extracting natural gas. The event earned Oradell points through the Sustainable New Jersey program, and those points can translate into grants from the state of New Jersey. The Environmental Committee invited a singer and an environmental activists. It also showed a brief clip from the movie Gaslands.

Marc Black is a musician who first got involved with the fracking debate a year and a half ago when someone asked him to sing about fracking at a performance. The song he created and performed led to more performances and more invitations to anti-fracking rallies.

At the rallies people have approached him with their personal accounts of health problems that they attribute to fracking. These accounts have convinced Black that fracking is too dangerous to allow. He sees his performances in various places as part of a "global counter attack" against the "global attack" by "big gas". His song was entertaining and pointed.

The Gaslands clip told the story of people who believed their water wells were contaminated by fracking. After the clip, Tracy Carluccio from the Delaware River Keeper Network spoke at length about fraking and her efforts to oppose it. She handed out letters for audience members to send to Governor Chris Christie encouraging him to sign the Ban Bill into law. The Ban Bill would outlaw fracking in New Jersey.

Although the letter only mentioned drinking water pollution as a concern, Carluccio's talk delved into other reasons to oppose fracking. Carluccio said that fracking was creating an excess in the domestic natural gas supply that was lowering natural gas prices and motivating companies to build pipelines and costal terminals to export liquefied natural gas. She also worried that companies might pay New Jersey municipalities to treat and dispose of the waste associated with fracking.

The Oradell Environmental Committee decided against presenting the other side to the fracking debate. Proponents of fracking content that the benefits of fracking outweigh its risks. When one audience member mentioned a pro-fracking article, another audience member silenced him by accusing the source of being motivated by profits. Those who want to learn pro-fracking positions can refer to a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, Reason video, and Reason article that explain why fracking should remain legal.

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