Saturday, October 1, 2011


Hydraulic fracturing:

An operation in which a specially blended liquid is pumped down a well and into a formation under pressure high enough to cause the formation to crack open, forming passages through which oil [and natural gas] can flow into the wellbore.

Sand grains, aluminum pellets, glass beads, or similar materials are carried in suspension into the fractures.

When the pressure is released at the surface, the fractures partially close on the proppants, leaving channels for oil  to flow through to the well.
On August 11th, the Lawrence Township trustees (Stevens & Kamph) to their credit decided to put on a series of meeting which they said were designed to educate their residents about the fracking issue that abounds in Stark County, the state of Ohio and, indeed, across the whole of America (CLICK THIS PARAGRAPH TO LINK TO PRIOR SCPR BLOG ON THE MEETING OF THE 11TH).

Basically, while undoubtedly well-intentioned, the trustees failed on the 11th to have a fair and balanced presentation.  And, The Report's blog on the meeting to the trustee to task fro their failure.

From all reports (e.g. Fracking advocates, opponents make case at forum,
Matthew Rink, The Massillon Independent, September 30th), the trustees did much better at Thursday night's meeting (the 29th).

However, The Report thinks they could have done better by having an alternative to oil and gas spokesperson Rhonda Reda of the Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP).

Reda from Rink's account appears to have injected a nasty tone into the discussion, to wit:

Rhonda Reda of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program, a nonprofit group funded by the energy industry, tried to explain the history of drilling and the processes currently used. The final speaker, Reda said Lincoln and Giavasis presented “disturbing misinformation” and “propaganda.”
For their part, Plain Township Trustee Louis Giavasis and Dan Lincoln did not stoop to the personal insult level that Ms. Reda demonstrated.

In talking with Giavasis today, he said that he felt that the forum was fair and balanced and that he felt he had ample opportunity to tell what he thinks was about 100 persons in attendance that the owed it to themselves to get on the Internet and check out the advisability of fracking for themselves.

Giavasis said that it is his hope that citizens will not take the talking points of the likes of Reda nor necessarily the position of folks like himself to heart in forming an opinion about whether or not to support the continuation of fracking.

It appears to Giavasis that with the support of fracking by Republican Governor John Kasich, the Republican dominated Ohio General Assembly (on the issue of drilling on state park land) who are politically linked to the oil and gas industry, that fracking "is on a roll" and it will take a catastrophic accident before Ohioans have second thoughts about allowing fracking.

He pointed out how at the Lawrence Township meeting Reda wanted to separate the actual - technical - event of "fracking" out of the multi-step fracking process so that she can say as a technical matter there has never been an accident from fracking per se.  Talk about splitting hairs?

The SCPR thinks that such nuancing is evidence that Reda presented "disturbing misinformation" and "propaganda;" not Giavasis and Lincoln, and, that she was merely projecting onto others (i.e. Giavasis and Lincoln) her own agenda.

As reported by Rink, Lincoln made the telling point that destroyed Reda's nuance of fracking per se by pointing out that fracking is a process that can involve faulty materials, to wit:

But Dan Lincoln of the Northeast Ohio Gas Accountability Project would disagree. Lincoln, the first speaker, said fracking itself isn’t necessarily the problem; poor well casings and concrete jobs are.
Anyhow, the SCPR congratulates the Lawrence Township in rectifying the problems of the August 11th meeting.

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