End fracking everywhere


There was an excellent editorial in The Daily Targum on Feb. 23 about a New York judge’s ruling to allow Dryden, a town in upstate New York, to ban fracking.  But, in the last line of the editorial, there was a sentiment expressed that seemed senseless and out of place, stating, “fracking may be deemed appropriate for certain areas.” I wholeheartedly disagree — as a public-water activist, this is not true. The public health hazard of having carcinogenic and extremely toxic chemicals seep into the aquifers that hold our groundwater is not a risk worth taking. In many communities around the country and closer to home, such as in the state of Pennsylvania, fracking has proven to be a severe health risk that hurts the public and helps the greedy corporate. 

Though fracking generates a lot of money, it is just unnatural.  Fracking, by any basis, is wrong, regardless of how many people live around the site.  Everyone, regardless of residence, deserves reliably potable tap water. Letting companies frack in less densely populated areas still allows them to practice fracking — and could lead to them expanding over time to more densely populated areas. By giving these companies the power to frack even one site, we are giving them control over our drinking water and our land — a prospect that must be left to the residents, not the companies. 

So with this, I argue that we must work to ban fracking, not just on a case-by-case basis, but on a national basis, too. There are entire countries that have banned the practice and the United States can work toward that, too. Our land is beautiful and not meant to be populated by the occupancy of frackers and their ugly sites. Our water is valuable, and with only 1 percent left in the world accessible for human consumption, we cannot risk a drop to become polluted.  The true answer is that we must stop our dependency on oil, and look to other alternatives.  Whether we frack or not, it’s a well that eventually — and universally — will run dry.

Kaitlin D’Agostino is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in environmental science with a minor in Arabic. She is a campaign coordinator for the “Take Back the Tap” campaign.

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