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Virginians urged to say 'no' to fracking

Date published: 4/22/2014

Virginians urged to say 'no' to fracking

Thanks for the excellent coverage of the fracking issues facing the area.

Although Shore Exploration and Production Corp. is trying to paint a rosy picture of gas drilling, I have personally seen it to be otherwise.

In my husband's childhood home of Washington, Pa., gas and oil drilling have taken over many farms and public roads.

One of his cousins sold the mineral rights to his property to a Texas drilling company, and what used to be a beautiful, peaceful family farm is now an industrial zone. Six days a week, heavy equipment and trucks rumble by their house, kicking up dust and making a deafening racket.

Our cousins can enjoy the tranquility of their front porch only on Sundays, when the workers have a day off. A thick layer of dust coats their cars and outdoor furniture. Opening the windows on a nice day is out of the question.

A guard shack sits at the end of their driveway near the state road, and all visitors, including family, are questioned by the company's security personnel. The extensive network of roads throughout the farm have destroyed a small orchard and former hayfields.

Representatives from Shore would like us to believe that the average industry salary of $107,000 is an enticement to welcome drilling but fail to tell us that the people making those salaries are not locals; rather, they are people from Texas and Oklahoma who move temporarily to the drilling jobs. This may benefit some of the moderately priced hotels for a while, but management soon realizes that the typical vacationer does not care to stay at a hotel with muddy footprints on the sidewalks and in the hallways and with the sounds of diesel trucks being started in the parking lot at 5:30 a.m.

I was pleased to read that attendees at a recent town hall meeting in Dahlgren asked pertinent questions and would not tolerate the nonsense answers given by Shore executives.

Fracking causes severe disruption to a community that in the end benefits only a few. It is in Virginia's best interest to say "no" to this!

Jill D. Stopka