I am writing to you regarding an important decision that the Bureau of Land Management must make this summer regarding 30,000 acres of land in Delta County that has been proposed for leasing to natural gas exploration. I urge you to actively support the no action/no leasing alternative that the BLM has offered.
Their current preferred finding is for no significant impact. My first reason is because the BLM's Resource Management Plan for this region is 20 years old and it does not take into account the current fracking technology. It also will not reflect the current state of development and land use in this area which has grown substantially in the areas of organic argriculture, vitaculture and natural meat as well as eco-tourism, education in sustainability, hunting, fishing and other recreational use. Second, within a few minutes of research online one can find countless reports and documentation of the negative impacts that natural gas drilling and fracking has had on individuals, communities and ecologies. The EPA is currently being fought against by the natural gas industry for finding cases where natural gas exploration caused significant pollution. Please take two minutes and see for yourself.
While many people do report that natural gas extraction has had no significant impact, or even a positive one on their land and communities, there are equally as many people who report the opposite, that their land values, communities, air, water and eco-systems have been irreversible impacted and damaged. What if one side or the other is not telling the truth and what would be the motives for doing so? These are important questions that should be investigated before leasing lands such as the ones in proximity to communities, schools, recreation and agriculture. If we accept both sides as true, that's about 50/50 chance of negative impact. I personally do not like these odds and feel that increased research, regulation and oversight is necessary before rushing ahead with leases like this near thriving communities. I hope you do take the time to research for yourself both sides of the issue. It seems likely that the BLM's finding of "no significant impact" is overly optimistic, and there are many significant impacts that accompany natural gas exploration and extraction. We need to understand what those impacts are and find ways to effectively mitigate them before continuing ahead.
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