Note: As of 4/30/17, the Board has acted to make some modifications to the original position presented to them. Most of these changes are to correct grammatical/spelling areas. One thing that may appear to be significant but is really not is the deletion of “Chesapeake Bay” from the document. The Chesapeak Bay is covered as a “critial feature” along with all other important waterways. This is avoid any possibility that anyone could assume that the “Chesapeak Bay” was the only waterway of interest to the League. The new version can be found here: http://lwv-va.org/files/convention_2017_04_28_frackingposition_schutz.pdf
Report from the Hydraulic Fracking Study Committee
The Committee has completed the study and has compiled data from the participating local Leagues. Arlington and Fredericksburg were unable to participate. A special “League” was created out of those people who are MAL members without affiliation with a local League. This group of Independent MAL members was treated as a separate local League.
The file: Final-Fracking Consensus Survey Responses-2017-03-26.xls is being provided to the Board as a summary of the information received from local Leagues.
It is the recommendation of this committee that the following position be considered for acceptance. Note that the actual title of the proposed position is “Extractive Industries: Hydraulic Fracturing. The use of this title provides the latitude for inclusion of any future study pertaining to “Pipelines” which was not able to be included in this study. It also provides a place for any existing or future studies that may pertain to processes related to “extractive industries”.
It is recommended that the existing Uranium statements be included here. Additional future studies could include “Pipeline”, “Coal”, “Fly Ash”, etc.
As Chair of this committee, I wish to acknowledge the dedication, time and energy provided by the members of the committee: Rona Ackerman (serving as both editor and researcher), Sue Delos (focus on all things chemical), Carolyn Caywood (economics and general researcher), Meghan Dorsett (land use and legislative researcher, and the leadership of our Program Director, Franches Schutz.
This study has been somewhat unique in that it involved processes which continued to evolve throughout the length of the study, and will continue to do so in the near future. The committee has striven to use language that is inclusive and not restrictive so that as new information about hydraulic fracturing is developed, it can be readily integrated into any actions taken.
As Rona Ackerman stated so well in the study report for local Leagues:
“The concluding thoughts of that study were:“Hydraulic fracturing is a moving target. Every day, new legislation, lawsuits, and technologies are created. Every geology [and geologic formation] and well requires a different extraction method. Every piece of data has advocates and opponents. Industry, government, and citizens struggle to find a balance that will provide low-cost, environmentally clean energy in quantities that will support our current lifestyles and future energy requirements. The public’s right to know, protection and management of natural resources, social and economic justice, and health and safety are all issues to be considered when examining hydraulic fracturing.”
On behalf of the committee and myself, I thank the Board for allowing us this opportunity to study hydraulic fracturing. Those thanks also extend to all of the local League and MAL participants who took the time to help use create this position.
We await the Board’s leisure for any recommendations for changes/additions/deletions.
****this has now been approved by the Board****
Carol Lindstrom, Committee Chair
Hydraulic Fracturing Study Committee