Press Release March 27, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 27, 2013 (Updated April 2, 2013)

CONTACT: Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan          www.LetsBanFracking.org

LuAnne Kozma, Campaign Director, 231-944-8750 luanne@letsbanfracking.org

 

Ballot initiative to ban fracking in Michigan sets kick off events,

campaign begins April 12

 

CHARLEVOIX, MICH. – The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan, a citizen-led ballot initiative group seeking to ban horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, announces its campaign kick off events in communities around the state. Volunteer circulators begin collecting signatures starting April 12, 2013 for a six-month period to qualify for the 2014 ballot.

The kick off events are for volunteers and people interested in volunteering for the campaign to obtain petitions and campaign literature, learn about the ballot initiative process and how to circulate petitions, and begin organizing in their community.

“In Michigan we have the constitutional power to write our own laws through a ballot initiative and put them before the voters. Other states threatened by fracking, such as New York and Pennsylvania, do not have this option,” said LuAnne Kozma, campaign director.

Michigan is already being fracked by the gas industry, with 52 wells permitted so far. Toxic chemicals, many of them known carcinogens, sand and water are used in the process to fracture the targeted rock formations, permanently destroying millions of gallons of water by turning them into frack wastes.

“Drilling and fracking create a tremendous amount of solid, liquid and gaseous wastes, polluting the land, water and air. Wastes and pollution are integral to the process, not an accident or a possibility, but a surety,” said Kozma. In Michigan, drill cuttings and muds are brought to landfills or solidified on site. Frack well wastes are brought to injection wells. Some of the frack wastes stay inside the frack well, transforming it into its own toxic waste well. Wastes from frack wells in one county are brought to injection wells in other locations. For example, some frack wastes generated in Kalkaska County are brought to an injection well in Grand Traverse County. Michigan has over 1,000 injection wells and more are being proposed and approved.

The frack industry is using more groundwater per well in Michigan than any other state, with wells by Encana using 21 million gallons per frack and the company’s newest applications proposing to use over 31 million gallons per frack. The industry and regulators have widely used the figure 5 million gallons. Higher amounts of water mean Michigan is also creating much more frack waste. Michigan depends on clean ground water for drinking, with more private wells than any other state. Michigan is also connected to four of the Great Lakes and its water flows directly into them.

“It is a dire situation, but there is something we can do,” noted Kozma. “As a grassroots movement of people, building signature by signature, circulator by circulator, we are the largest, on-the-ground force in the state working to ban fracking,” said Kozma. “Committee to Ban Fracking volunteers are devoted to making change, getting onto public sidewalks, in parks, at farmers’ markets and other public gatherings to raise awareness face-to-face, voter-to-voter, while collecting signatures for a ban on fracking.”

"Fracking is a hot issue in Oakland County, where Waterford Township has recently allowed gas drilling and West Bloomfield has banned it temporarily. We need hundreds of people in the Detroit area to be a part of the ballot initiative and circulate petitions," said Todd Bazzett, the Committee's coordinator for the Detroit area. "If you miss a kick off, you can help us plan an organizing event in your community."

The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan changed its petition in 2013 from a constitutional amendment proposal to a “legislative proposal.” The Committee starts collecting signatures April 12. The legislative proposal would amend the state statute, not the state constitution, and requires 258,088 signatures. When the signatures are validated, the proposal goes first to the legislature, which must pass or reject it with no changes. If the House and Senate vote no or take no action within 40 days, the proposal automatically goes to a vote of the people in the November 2014 election. Once the ballot proposal wins, the new law cannot be vetoed. The legislature can only amend it with a ¾ vote in both houses.

In addition to banning horizontal hydraulic fracturing, the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan’s ballot proposal would ban frack wastes and eliminate the state’s policy codified into current law “fostering” the oil-gas industry and “maximizing production” —“frack, baby, frack” language that provides the fossil fuel industry with uncommon special interest protection. 

“Only a ban can protect us from the significant harms of fracking,” said Peggy Case, president of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation and on the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan. “The language in our current law favoring the fossil fuel industry makes it inevitable that Michigan contributes mercilessly to global climate change and serious pollution of the Great Lakes, 20% of the world's fresh water. It is urgent that we move to alternative forms of energy to protect future generations.” 

The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan is part of a worldwide movement to ban fracking. France and Bulgaria have banned fracking, as have numerous communities in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Colorado. Vermont became the first state to ban fracking in 2012. Michigan’s citizen effort has the support of Vermont legislators Tony Klein and Peter Peltz who sponsored the Vermont ban bill. “It was clear in Vermont the dangers of fracking to our natural resources. In Vermont our natural resources are our number one priority, so it was not a difficult thing to prohibit fracking forever. It passed overwhelmingly,” said Klein. “We encourage all states, when they have the chance to do so, to ban this dangerous technique.”

The entire Lower Peninsula now stands to be fracked. Devon Energy is fracking in the A-1 carbonate layers in Crawford, Ogemaw and Roscommon Counties in the middle of the state. Encana is drilling the Utica-Collingwood shale in state forests and on private land and plans to drill and frack 500 to 1,700 sites. Densely populated areas such as Ann Arbor, Oakland County, and the Grand Rapids region-- communities historically not affected by oil and gas drilling within their borders--are now facing the threat.

The campaign website is: http://letsbanfracking.org.

To volunteer to circulate petitions, donate to, or endorse the campaign, see: http://LetsBanFracking.org

Kick Off Events: (in date order)

WARREN

March 30, 1 to 3 p.m.

Tracy’s Corner Café

29200 Hoover Rd, Warren, MI 48093

 

TRAVERSE CITY

April 2, 7 to 8 p.m.

Horizon Books, lower level

243 E Front St

BOYNE CITY

April 4, 6 to 8 p.m.

Water Street Café

113 Water St

 

FRANKENMUTH

April 5, 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Harvest Coffeehouse & Beanery

626 S Main St

 

LAPEER

April 5, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

River Street Music & Cafe`

454 W Nepessing St

 

LANSING

April 6, 9 to 10 a.m.

The Avenue Café

2021 E Michigan Ave

HOPKINS

April 6, 10 a.m. to 12 noon

118 E Main St

           

DETROIT

April 6, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ce Ce’s Pub

1426 Bagley Ave

                                  

KALAMAZOO

April 6, 1 to 2 p.m.

Bronson Park (rain location: to be announced)

200 S Rose St            

                                  

FERNDALE

April 6, 3 to 5 p.m.

Ferndale Library

222 E 9 Mile Rd

 

GRAND RAPIDS


April 6, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Kava House Café

1445 Lake Dr SE

 

ALLEGAN

April 9, 3 - 4 p.m.

Allegan District Library

331 Hubbard St

 

MOUNT PLEASANT

April 7, 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Kaya Coffee House

1029 South University

 

FENNVILLE

April 8, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Fennville Library

Lower Level of the Library

400 W Main St

 

DOUGLAS

April 9, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Douglas Library Annex

and The Well Read Bookstore

137 Center St

 

PETOSKEY

April 9, 6 to 7 p.m.

Roast and Toast Café

309 E Lake St

 

ANN ARBOR                                              

April 10, 6 to 9 p.m.

Arbor Brewing Company, Tap Room

114 East Washington St                                                        

                       

SAUGATUCK

April 11, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. or Close

Uncommon Grounds Cafe

127 Hoffman St

 

HARRISVILLE

April 11, 7 to 8 p.m.

Harrisville Holistic Center

220 N State St

 

MARQUETTE: two kick offs

April 12, 10 a.m. to 12 noon

Northern Michigan University Campus

And 7 to 9 p.m.

Ore Dock Brewing Company

114 W Spring St

 

SOUTH HAVEN

April 12, 6:45 p.m.

Before the showing of Gasland the movie

Foundry Hall

422 Eagle St

 

HASTINGS

April 12, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Thomas Jefferson Hall

328 S. Jefferson

 

MANISTEE

April 13, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

164 Harrison St

TRENTON

April 13,  3 p.m.  to 5 p.m.
Faith United Methodist Church
2530 Charlton Rd
 

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© 2014 Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan. Paid for with regulated funds by the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan, P.O. Box 490, Charlevoix, Michigan 49720

Contact us at info@letsbanfracking.org