Fracking at the Center of Food & Water Watch's New Campaign in Southeast Michigan
The Washington-based nonprofit will focus on fracking during their latest Michigan campaign, a heated issue in West Bloomfield.
Are you worried what fracking may be doing to the local water tables? Do you research genetically-engineered food before going to the grocery store?
If so, you'll want to check out the kick-off event for Food & Water Watch's southeast Michigan campaign, happening this Thursday at the Birmingham Unitarian Church, located just north of Big Beaver on Woodward in Bloomfield Hills.
"We don't pick the easy fights, but we are committed to working with and supporting concerned and passionate citizens," a press release from the non-profit says.
"We look forward to bringing like-minded people together to not only provide an overview of these two urgent campaigns, but also to draw connections, build strong relationships, and brainstorm so that we can collectively work across Southeast Michigan to take action on these issues."
Based in Washington D.C., Food & Water Watch was founded in 2005 and advocates for "common sense policies that will result in healthy, safe food and access to safe and affordable drinking water."
West Bloomfield leaders wary about fracking, one-year ban on drilling extended in February
On the agenda this Thursday will be the labeling of genetically-engineered food as well as — and perhaps even more importantly for West Bloomfield residents — fracking, the process used to extract natural gas from underground shale beds.
"This risky method is quickly spreading across Michigan and threatens the air we breathe, water we drink, communities we love and the climate upon which we all depend," the group notes.
Fracking is a heated issue around Oakland County, particularly in West Bloomfield. Last May, Traverse City's Jordan Development Group purchased several thousand acres in state mineral rights thoughout Oakland County, spurring West Bloomfield Township to pass a resolution banning drilling for oil and natural gas. That ban was extended for an additional year last month.
On Feb. 27, newly-elected Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash led a panel discussion on fracking at West Bloomfield Township Hall.
"This emerging issue is an important one for our region, and my office will hold these kinds of meetings around the county so that our residents can be informed and learn about topics that can affect our quality of life," Nash said.
At that meeting, West Bloomfield Township Supervisor Michele Economou Ureste noted that West Bloomfield — home to 28 lakes, 150 ponds, 1,500 acres of proected wetlands and 2,500 acres of protected woodlands — is dedicated to preserving its water resources.
"So, how would this natural, interconnected storm water storage and conveyance system ... function if millions of gallons of surface water were need to be extracted from them for the purpose of oil and natural gas drilling?" Ureste said at the Feb. 27 meeting.
"Furthermore, how would toxic drilling fluids in similar volumes impact our natural environmental resources as it is managed through a complete, and interconnected, natural conveyance system?" she added.
The Food & Water Watch event starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. For more information, visit www.foodandwaterwatch.org.
What do you think about fracking? Are you worried about genetically-engineered food?