On the front page of last Friday’s (Aug. 18) paper, the leader of the fracking industry claimed they’re a goose laying the golden egg with cheaper gas production. But only so long as they pay a lesser impact fee, while avoiding higher extraction taxes that other states impose over their intrusive and toxic methods. He’s got it backwards. The golden nest the frackers want is the gas under our feet, while they keep reaping the profits.

He announced a $12 mcf savings profit since 2008, while earthquakes and the risk potential to our clean water from their operations remains. Global warming reports show the planet is getting hotter from fossil fuel use, revealing already melting ice caps, stronger major storms and rising sea levels at coastal areas. Perhaps business leaders are easily mislead that fracking and turning this region into a poisoned gasland is something to be welcomed, while damaging human side effects and long-term environmental problems should be overlooked.

The tax breaks and expanded drilling frackers want for us isn’t so much for our energy independence. Rather, for their company profiteering by marketing it abroad, already having huge pipelines directed or planned to large city ports for shipment elsewhere. Yet some of those countries are already turning away from polluting fossil fuel usage toward renewable clean energy means. If the Netherlands can put windmills off their ocean coast, surely we can put more of them on our mountaintops, on the Great Lakes, and have solar farms in desert areas.

The issue shouldn’t be fewer taxes on fracking. It should be greater taxes imposed to curb its problematic use. Those taxes could be used to subsidize constructing clean energy businesses to save our planet, as well as to preserve the healthy environment we still have today.

— Dave McKolanis, Falls Creek

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