Communication from Cousin Sam

Hello all!

I apologize for my radio silence on the issue so far; I’ve just moved and started a new job and have had precious little time to spare for anything else.  I’ve done some work on fracking issues in California and followed the debate for a while and have seen few, if any, better explanations of the dangers of fracking than those offered by David in this thread. Big kudos for a very comprehensive and palatable explanation.

A few thoughts that I have coming out of what I’ve learned here:

1. I think that the best way of catching up on an issue like this is to look to other groups that have studied it for a while. Reaching out to groups like the NPRC is a great way of learning where we stand politically and therefor finding the best angle from which to approach a decision maker. I’m also eagerly awaiting results of this NPRC meeting. If you haven’t signed up for email updates from them, I highly recommend it. The Montana Environmental Information Center, headed by  Derf Johnson, also has an email list and some resources on fracking.

2. Google alerts are great. Plug something like “fracking Montana” into google news and sign up for a daily update with any stories that include those key words. It seems like things are happening pretty fast right now.

3. Petitions are great, but they aren’t the most focused way of reaching the people that you want to hear the message. If we can find or put together a chart of decision makers on the issue in Montana (NPRC, or maybe some legwork on our side) it would be beneficial to reach out to them directly. In a relatively small state like Montana I would think that elected officials, be it the Attorney General or state legislators, would be receptive to letters written by constituents. This also goes for letters to the editor; the letters to the editor page is a great place to get free coverage and reach a lot of people (second highest readership in newspapers after obits). My father has a lot of experience with that, and I can also share some tips on how to get LTEs published if anyone wants them.

4. I’ve passed along a lot of these emails to a friend of mine who will be visiting Montana soon on behalf of Environment America, working (most likely) on clean water issues. She’s happy to have some background on the issue and might be doing outreach to a lot of the same people that we are. I’ll keep y’all up to date with anything that I hear from her camp.

Much love to all, and thank you for your reasoned and quick response to the issue.

About davidjkatz

The Moses family has lived on the Stillwater River since 1974, when George and Lucile Moses retired and moved to the Beehive from the Twin Cities. They’re gone now, but their four daughters (pictured at left, on the Beehive) and their families continue to spend time there, and have grown to love the area. This blog started as an email chain to keep the family informed about the threat of increased fracking activity in the area, but the desire to inform and get involved led to the creation of this blog.
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