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April 20, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hydraulic Fracturing Comes to Yankee Springs – Auction May 8, 2012

On May 8, 2012, the Michigan DNR will auction mineral rights to nearly ALL of Yankee Springs Township – including the Yankee Springs Recreation Area – opening public lands to
oil and gas drilling and the highly toxic, water-intensive practice of hydraulic fracturing.

The May 8 State of Michigan Oil and Gas Lease Auction includes state land from 23 counties with Barry, Gladwin, and Oakland counties among the biggest losers of public land and health.

In Barry County alone, the DNR is offering 211 numbered parcels totaling over 23,400 acres, with an average size of 111 acres per offering. With a typical oil and/or gas well requiring 40 acres, the Yankee Springs Recreation area could potentially become home to hundreds of wells, and with horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, this means deep, multi-directional drilling and the injection of toxic chemicals under area wetlands, streams, lakes, and recreational land.

The DNR is offering large parcels of land in Thornapple and Irving Townships directly north and west of Middleville, as well as most of Yankee Springs and some portions of Orangeville and Rutledge Townships. Bodies of water contained in these parcels include the eastern shores of Barlow and Gun Lakes as well as all surrounding land and waters of Shaw Lake, Bassett Lake, Baker Lake, Chief Noonday Lake, Payne Lake, Williams and McDonald Lakes, Long Lake, Hall Lake, Turner Lake, Deep Lake, Otis Lake, and all connecting waterways, recreational trails, and land.

Environmental, Public Health, and Water Hazards Involved with Oil / Gas Drilling and Hydro-Fracking or Hydraulic Fracturing:

  • Drinking Water Contamination (Methane migrating into water supplies)
  • Site Contamination (Toxic drilling muds buried in on-site pits)
  • Excessive Water Withdrawals (Wells use hundreds of thousands to millions of gallons of water per day, harvested from on-site water wells drilled alongside oil/gas wells.)
  • Poisonous Gases (Sour Gas wells emit and sometimes leak poisonous Hydrogen Sulfide.)
  • Earthquakes (Such as those caused in Ohio, due to deep injection wells where toxic fracking fluids are injected because these toxic chemicals cannot be disposed of above ground.)
  • The potential for toxic fracking fluids (known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and chemicals that cause neurological damage) to leak during on-site mixing and operations, and/or from deep injection wells used to bury these toxins.

May 8 Lansing Protest

The May 8 auction will open for bidder registration at 8:00am with the auction beginning at 9:00am at Constitution Hall, 525 West Allegan, Lansing, and is expected to draw a large number of protestors. Protesters will gather at Constitution hall at 7:30am.

May 1 Oil & Gas Leasing Meeting at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Hastings

On May 1, from 6-8:30pm, Pierce Cedar Creek will host an informational meeting for landowners (and the public) interested in learning more about oil and gas leasing of private properties. The typical oil and gas leasing meeting offered through the MSU Extension office  includes a presentation by the DEQ on hydraulic fracturing as well as print materials offered
by the Michigan Oil and Gas Producer’s Education Foundation (industry-funded).

May 2 “Fracking in Middleville’s Backyard” Meeting sponsored by Local Future

On May 2, at 7:00pm, Local Future will host a discussion on the environmental impacts of fracking at the Thornapple Township Hall, 200 E. Main St., in Middleville.

Links to State of Michigan DNR/DEQ Auction Documents:

MI DNR Auction Notice

MI DNR Bid Document (423 Pages):  (Barry County pages 35-81)

County by County Map of Auctioned State Lands:  (Barry County shown here)

Ban Michigan Fracking Contacts:

For southwest Michigan and Grand Rapids:

Maryann Lesert, Author & BMF Member

mlesert@sbcglobal.net

269-267-3278

www.banmichiganfracking.org

For eastern and northern Michigan:

LuAnne Kozma, Founding BMF Member

LuAnneKozma@gmail.com

231-547-2828

www.banmichiganfracking.org

 

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April 10, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: LuAnne Kozma, Ban Michigan Fracking

Email: info@banmichiganfracking.org

www.banmichiganfracking.org

“The Truth and Consequences of Fracking”

Speakers Jessica Ernst and Kevin Heatley come to Michigan for two public events

Sponsored by Ban Michigan Fracking and Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination

Charlevoix, Mich.—“The Truth and Consequences of Fracking,” two nights of presentations will feature Jessica Ernst, a scientist from Alberta, Canada who is suing the EnCana gas company for contaminating her water wells with methane and toxic chemicals, and Kevin Heatley, a restoration ecologist from Pennsylvania who has worked with the devastation in that state’s fragmented and fracked state and national forests.

Ernst will present “The Truth and Consequences of Frac’ing” and Heatley will present “Woods or Wells? Ecological Consequences of Unconventional Gas Extraction.”

The presentations are on Friday, May 18, 2012 at the Grand Traverse Civic Center in Traverse City, and on Saturday, May 19 at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Gaylord. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. each night. The program will begin at 7 p.m.

Ban Michigan Fracking spokesperson LuAnne Kozma said, “Ban Michigan Fracking is changing the conversation on fracking in Michigan—from the call for better regulations to the need to ban, outlaw, prohibit fracking altogether. Ernst and Heatley are from frontline communities hit hard by fracking, and they’ve come to demonstrate and warn us how regulations don’t work.”

Victor McManemy, chair of Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination said, “Millions and millions of gallons of good water turned into a toxic, radioactive-laden, carcinogenic chemical “soup” – stored in huge pits or re-injected deep into Mother Earth – is not acceptable to those who care about protecting the health and safety of the waters of Michigan . . . or of the grandchildren.”

Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination (www.caccmi.org), is a regional grassroots environmental organization that has fought against numerous chemical contaminations in the Great Lakes since 1978.

Ban Michigan Fracking (www.banmichiganfracking.org) formed in 2011 to educate, advocate and organize to ban fracking and raise awareness of the dangers of gas drilling to Michigan’s economy, environment and health and safety of its people.

LOCATIONS:

Friday, May 18, 2012, 7 p.m.
Grand Traverse Civic Center
1213 West Civic Center Drive
Traverse City, Michigan

 

Saturday, May 19, 2012, 7 p.m.
First Congregational United Church of Christ
218 West Second Street
Gaylord, Michigan

Suggested donations are $10 for the public and $100 for industry and regulators.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Jessica Ernst background:

Jessica Ernst, from Rosebud, Alberta, Canada, is a biologist and environmental consultant to the oil and gas industry, and long time critic of fracking in Alberta. Ernst has launched a multi-million dollar lawsuit against EnCana Corporation, the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board, and the Alberta government for contamination of her property and drinking water due to Encana’s fracking program. Speaking to worldwide audiences, she has traveled recently to Ireland and to the UN in New York City where she received UNANIMA International’s, (a UN Economic and Social Council accredited nongovernmental organization working for international justice at the United Nations) “Woman of Courage” award for her efforts to hold companies accountable for environmental harm done by fracking.

According to Ernst’s Statement of Claim, many Albertans depend on drinking water from coal
bed aquifers, but Ernst’s water is now so contaminated that it can be lit on fire.
She also blames Alberta’s oil and gas regulator, alleging that it not only tolerated illegal behavior by EnCana  but actively attempted to silence her complaints.

Ernst’s lawsuit against EnCana can be found here:

http://www.ernstversusencana.ca/

 

Video on Jessica Ernst:

http://banmichiganfracking.org/?p=386

Kevin Heatley background:

Kevin Heatley is a senior scientist with Biohabitats, Inc. and a consultant for Responsible Drilling Alliance in Wiliamsport, Pennsylvania. RDA a grassroots, all-volunteer education and advocacy coalition that seeks to educate its members and the public about deep shale gas drilling and all of its ramifications. Heatley works as a habitat restorer. His presentation will draw on his experience in Louisiana where environmental impacts by the gas and oil industry have been severe, and the cost of remediation externalized. He spoke at “Fracking the Fingerlakes: The Rest of the Story” in Hammondsport, NY last fall and can be seen on YouTube:

Video on Kevin Heatley:

http://banmichiganfracking.org/?page_id=424

 

For further information or to arrange an interview with Jessica Ernst and Kevin Heatley, please contact LuAnne Kozma, Email: info@banmichiganfracking.org  Phone: 231-547-2828

Spokespeople: LuAnne Kozma, Maryann Lesert, Ellis Boal, Kurt Gleichman

www.banmichiganfracking.org

www.caccmi.org

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December 2, 2011                      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New anti-frack group, “Ban Michigan Fracking” organizes

Opposes Michigan frack-study and frack-panel legislation
Anti-fracking organizations welcome new group

Contact: LuAnne Kozma, Ban Michigan Fracking
Phone: 248-473-5761     Email: info at banmichiganfracking dot org

Novi, Mich.—A new anti-fracking grassroots activist group, “Ban Michigan Fracking,” organized this week to lead the movement for a statewide ban on fracking for shale or “natural” gas. And fresh from their success in preventing the Delaware River Basin Commission from altering its rules to allow fracking in the headwaters of that mighty river, a host of east-coast and Midwest anti-fracking organizations today welcomed “Ban Michigan Fracking” into the fold.

Ban Michigan Fracking formed to educate, advocate and organize to ban fracking and raise awareness of the dangers of gas drilling to the state’s economy, to the environment and to the health and safety of its people. Ban Michigan Fracking sees as its immediate task the critiquing of current legislation on fracking and water withdrawals that would actually facilitate fracking in the state.

Ban Michigan Fracking spokesperson LuAnne Kozma said, “We have learned from the experience of our sister-organizations in the east that only the total banning of this dangerous process can excite and mobilize people. The halfway measures that pretend to deal with fracking are really designed to fracture our movement and get us bogged down in regulatory detail. We know enough now to demand a ban and we stand with the majority of the informed public in telling our legislators to represent us and not corporate polluters threatening our communities and our way of life.”

Grassroots organizations on the east coast and in the Midwest agreed with that assessment.  Maura Stephens, a co-founder of Coalition to Protect New York, extended a welcome to Ban Michigan Fracking:  “Interstate solidarity and co-operation is the next, necessary level in our struggle against the corporations that would turn our country into a polluted resource colony.” In Pennsylvania, John Detwiler, of the group Marcellus Protest, pointed out “We’re not ‘naïve’ or ‘emotional’, as pro-drilling propaganda paints us:  we see what this industry has already done to other Americans.  Pennsylvania shows why our grassroots movement to ban hydrofracturing is gaining national momentum – we cannot rely on so-called regulation by our state government.”

Hydrofracking has also contaminated Midwest communities that provide inputs for the process.  In Wisconsin, Save The Hills Alliance organizer Pat Popple said “The fracking in Pennsylvania that poisons water wells there is also poisoning the air in Wisconsin where sandstone proppants are mined and processed. An injury to one is an injury to all.”  In Ohio, whose corporate-friendly government is accepting shipments of the toxic wastewater flowing back from the fracking operations in other eastern states, activist Sherry Fleming stated: “The only way we can stop these poisons from coming into our state is to ban fracking. We need to extend our support to ban movements in the region.”

Robert Jereski, of New York Climate Action Group, welcomed the group, saying: “Dedicated anti-frackers nationwide should celebrate the creation of this principled organization. We can expect great things from Ban Michigan Fracking as they will always fight to ban fracking and won’t allow bought politicians, polluting industry, and professional ‘environmental’ groups pushing ‘safe’ fracking legislation to declare ‘wins’ and raise money from unwitting grassroots on the backs of sacrificed communities.”

Ban Michigan Fracking’s Kat Sluka, an activist from Muskegon, said, “We cannot let these industrial corporations invade our communities. It’s imperative to begin organizing on a grassroots level.  We cannot stand for the exploitation of our environment.”

Julia Williams, another co-founder of Ban Michigan Fracking and ER nurse, cited human health as being of utmost concern: “With the atrocities we see in other states due to fracking, people getting sick and entire communities’ water supplies getting contaminated as in Dimock, Pennsylvania and Pavillion, Wyoming, we know we can only accept a ban on the practice.”

The package of bills introduced into the Michigan House by Rep. Mark Meadows and others (House Bills 5149, 5150 and 5151)[1] would begin a fracking study by the Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources—which derive some of their revenues from the gas industry—and which would be funded by the gas industry, and create an advisory committee chosen by the MDEQ and MDNR that would recommend laws and regulations “governing” fracking and “conditions on permits”—all of which would lead to establishing fracking, not banning it. A moratorium bill is also in the package and is tied to the frack study/frack advisory panel bill, which emulates the situation in New York state. Ban Michigan Fracking learned this week that Representative Meadows is opposed to a ban on fracking.

Kozma added, “We don’t want communities to have false hope with a moratorium, which only creates public complacency, while industry and others work to create the illusion that fracking is ‘safe’ once it has been studied.  Then the onslaught of this industry will begin in earnest. We want a real ban.”

Ban Michigan Fracking has an analysis of the bills recently introduced in the Michigan House (H.B. 5149, 5150 and 5151) attached to this press release and at:

www.banmichiganfracking.org

 


[1] http://www.progressmichigan.org/press/state-legislators-environmental-groups-join-together-to-protect-michigans-waters-from-fracking.html