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Forum: Fracking must be banned

Updated: May 12, 2013 2:20PM



Hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, is an intensive process where millions of gallons of fluid — typically a mix of water, sand and chemicals, including ones known to cause cancer — are injected underground at high pressure to fracture the rock surrounding an oil or gas well to release extra oil and/or gas from the rock.

Fracking introduces additional industrial activity into communities beyond the well. Clearing land to build new access roads and new well sites, drilling and encasing the well, trucking in heavy equipment and materials and trucking out the vast amounts of toxic waste — all contribute to air and water pollution risks and devaluation of land.

Fracking threatens the air we breathe, the water we drink, the communities we love and the climate on which we all depend. That’s why more than 250 communities in the U.S. have passed resolutions to stop fracking.

We cannot rely on regulation to protect our communities’ water, air and public health. The industry enjoys exemptions from key federal legislation protecting our air and water, thanks to aggressive lobbying and cozy relationships with our federal decision makers.

The industry is aggressively clamping down on local and state efforts to regulate fracking by buying influence and filing lawsuits. An all-out ban on fracking is the only way to protect our communities.

Rev. Mitchell L. Johnson, J.D.

Assistant pastor,
community affairs director

Joy Fellowship Baptist Church

Lansing

Saving a child’s life

The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) was founded in 1986 when residents of Bloomington, Ind., rallied around a toddler who needed a life-saving liver transplant. In less than eight weeks, the community raised $100,000 to place the boy on the organ waiting list, but he died before an organ became available.

Those community volunteers, along with his parents, turned tragedy into triumph by using the funds they raised to help other transplant families. That was the beginning of COTA.

Since that time, COTA has assisted more than 2,000 patients by helping to raise funds for transplant-related expenses. It has built extensive volunteer networks across the nation in an attempt to ensure that no child or young adult needing an organ or tissue transplant is excluded from a transplant waiting list due to a lack of funds.

COTA needs your help to make sure that tragedies, like the one that was the catalyst in founding COTA, are not repeated.

Every day, 19 people die waiting for an organ transplant in the United States. April is National Donate Life Month. Please register today to become an organ donor.

Encourage your friends, family members, neighbors and associates to take two simple, life-saving steps — register as an organ donor at www.donatelife.net or your state’s driver’s license bureau and express your wish to be a donor to your family members.

Rick Lofgren

President and chief executive officer

Children’s Organ Transplant Association



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