I saw this link posted on the No Fracking Facebook page, and wanted to pass it along. It’s a November 7 letter from Mary Johnson, who lives in Red Lodge but lived in North Dakota for 25 years and knows firsthand what the Bakken transformation was like.
She focuses not on environmental issues, but on the impact of drilling on the quality of life in the area. We’ve touched on these issues in this blog, but nothing says it better than someone who’s been there. What she describes — increases in crime, traffic, road repair, cost of living, taxes, waste dumping, squatting, demands on underconstructed infrastructure — are sobering when you imagine them along Highway 78.
She concludes with an admonition that all of us who care about the Beartooth Front need to take seriously:
I’m saying, weigh the impact on our community and keep asking questions that address the negatives. There’s a price to pay for unregulated, reckless, hurried oil extraction. Believe me, you don’t want “something like the Bakken” here.
What happened in the Bakken could have been avoided with proper foresight and vigilance on the part of citizens and the North Dakota legislature. If you care, you need to be in action. You should:
- Join the Northern Plains Resource Council through either the Carbon County Resource Council or the Stillwater Protective Association. Membership is just a few dollars a month. The NPRC does a great job of providing information and galvanizing action on this and other environmental issues.
- Consider making a special contribution to the Beartooth Front Defense Fund. The oil and gas lobby is VERY well funded and they’re not afraid to spend to impose their will at the federal, state and local level. Your contribution will be used to fund legal, public relations and communications work to preserve this area.
- Like the Facebook page No Fracking the Beartooth Front. They do a great job of presenting related information.
Anything this valuable is worth fighting for. Stop watching and get into action. Now.
Update: Follow up letter here.