Will Ohio need Doctors Without Borders?
The Kent (OH) Record-Courier reports:
More than 60 foes of “fracking” from as far away as Cleveland marched along snowy Kent sidewalks Feb. 11 chanting: “O-H-I-O, hydro fracking’s got to go,” “No more earthquakes” and “You can’t drink money.”
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of injecting highly pressurized fluid into rock formations to allow for the release and collection of natural gas.
The environmental impact of fracking is a subject of controversy, often pitting environmental activists, who claim the process will do untold damage to nearby water and air, against oil and gas companies, who claim the process is relatively safe.
In December, the Environmental Protection Agency linked fracking to water pollution in Wyoming in a preliminary report blasted by officials in the gas industry.
George Sosebee, who led marchers along East Main Street from the Kent Stage to the rock on the Kent State University campus, said fracking opponents have been accused of standing in the way of new jobs and income for the state, a charge he denied.
“There’s nothing wrong with jobs and money, but it needs to be safer,” he said. “Until the science gets straightened out and people feel safe, it needs to be stopped.”
After painting “No fracking” on the KSU rock, the protesters turned and marched back to the Kent Stage, where Dr. Ted Voneida and Jaime Frederick spoke.
VONEIDA, A Kent resident and former chair of neurobiology at Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown, said fracking could damage not only the health of an individual, but the health of a community.
“Rural communities are virtually devastated by fracking,” Voneida said. “[It causes] tremendous traffic jams from the brine trucks, the contamination of water, the draining of water from their streams and reservoirs [and] the disruption of their social system entirely.”
Voneida said a surprising side effect of fracking also can be a lack of medical care. He said in talking with others in the medical field, he has found many medical students will refuse to serve in communities that had been fracked… [Emphasis added]