Informational meeting on fracking held in Manistee

With all of the controversy surrounding the procedure of "fracking", the League of Women Voters in Manistee decided to set up an informational public forum - with both sides represented.

Officially called hydraulic fracturing, the procedure pumps water, sand, and chemicals into wells under high pressure - fracturing the surrounding rock and allowing oil and gas to be extracted.

Proponents cite the process as being cleaner than coal burning and a source of employment and money for Michigan.

Concerns about fracking include the safety of the chemicals used, the millions of gallons of water required for the process, and the migration of the gas into the acquifer-damaging drinking water.

With so much controversy regarding the procedure, the LWV decided to invite the Michigan Oil and Gas Association, the Cadillac District Office of MDEQ, Ban Michigan Fracking, and an environmental attorney of Olson, Bzdok, and Howard Attorneys of Traverse City. Perspectives were presented by a representative of each of these groups, and the public then had a chance to ask questions.

Nancy Behring, the President of the LWV, stated, "The process of hydraulic fracturing or fracking is relatively new, and relatively new to Michigan. It's been controversial in other places and in Michigan-we wanted to get the facts out and information from both sides so that people can become informed."

Since nearly one hundred people came to tonight's forum, the LWV says they recognize the public's interest and will hold more informational forums.

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