Press Release July 8, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 8, 2013

Contact: LuAnne Kozma, Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan

(231) 944-8750 luanne@letsbanfracking.org

 

Gasland Film Director Josh Fox endorses Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan; more individuals and groups endorse

 

Charlevoix, Michigan – Today the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan announces more endorsing organizations and individuals who support the Committee's ballot initiative to ban horizontal fracking and frack wastes in Michigan, including film director Josh Fox and others who are battling Encana Oil and Gas, the main company fracking in Michigan.

 

Film director Josh Fox, who catapulted the nation into awareness about the health effects and impacts of fracking, with the Academy-award nominated documentary film Gasland, endorses the campaign. His sequel movie, Gasland Part II, premieres tonight on HBO at 9 p.m. Www.gaslandthemovie.com.

 

Fox states: "People in Michigan are taking a direct democracy approach to ban fracking -- there's a ballot initiative underway by the grassroots Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan that would ban horizontal fracking and horizontal frack wastes statewide. If voted in, the initiative would also reverse the state's 84-year-old policy requiring environmental regulators to 'foster' the industry favorably instead of treating it neutrally. The governor cannot veto it. Campaign petitioners need to collect a quarter million signatures by October 1. I endorse the initiative and urge everyone to donate today, especially those outside of Michigan who cannot legally sign or petition. For those in Michigan, do it all -- sign, circulate, and donate! www.letsbanfracking.org ."

 

Canadian scientist Jessica Ernst, who is suing fracking giant Encana and the Alberta government for poisoning her land and groundwater in Rosebud, Alberta, Canada, also endorses the campaign. Ernst came to Michigan in 2012 and gave public presentations about her experience living in a community poisoned by the gas industry and her lawsuit against the frack industry and Albert government. http://www.ernstversusencana.ca

 

Also endorsing is Wyoming rancher John Fenton, chair of Pavillion Area Concerned Citizens, the group trying to hold the gas and oil industry and state and federal governments accountable for the contamination of Pavillion,Wyoming's groundwater, the impacts of which he calls “terrifying and heartbreaking.” Fenton is featured in the movie Gasland. The US Environmental Protection Agency recently abandoned its draft report which indicated that Encana's gas operations were responsible for Pavillion's groundwater contamination. A USGS survey recently confirmed that methane contamination of Pavillion's drinking water is related to chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, confirming the EPA's 2011 report.

 

Encana Oil and Gas has stated it plans to industrialize Michigan with at least 500 horizontal frack wells. Originally the company stated it would drill 1,700 wells. Encana is using more water per frack here in Michigan than any frack operation in the nation, getting most of its water onsite in Michigan's state forests in the headwaters of the Manistee River. (www.banmichiganfracking.org) Toxic frack wastes are accumulating as a result and being sent to injection wells in many locations, including near Traverse City and in Kalkaska County, and in public landfills.

 

Other individual endorsers include:

Derek Bailey, chairman (Retired), Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, of Grand Traverse County.

Don Cooney, Kalamazoo City Commissioner and Western Michigan University professor in the school of social work.

State Representative Rashida Tlaib, of Detroit, representing the 6th District.

State Senator Coleman Young II, of Detroit, representing the 1st District.

 

All ballot initiatives are non-partisan. Initiatives are an electoral process guaranteed by the Michigan state constitution. The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan is a registered ballot question committee registered with the Secretary of State Bureau of Elections. The purpose of a ballot initiative is to put a vote of the people on the ballot in a statewide election.

 

New organizational endorsers include:

Green Party of Michigan, which champions environmental wisdom and grassroots advocacy.

Traverse Watershed Greens, of Traverse City.

 

Don't Frack West Michigan, a new grassroots group based in Muskegon County where fracking operations are about to occur.

Manistee Water Guardians, a grassroots group in Manistee County.

Hood Research, a Detroit-based community research non-profit whose mission is to educate the community regarding issues that improve or harm Detroiters' quality of life (www.hoodresearch.org)

 

Campaign director LuAnne Kozma notes “The threat of fracking in Michigan is pulling people together as much as it is pulling some communities apart. There is not an upstate/downstate divide, nor is it solely a rural issue. The frack industry rewards a few people financially and impacts a lot of people negatively. Fracking is going to affect all of Michigan's people through contamination of the air, water resources, food and beverages, all of our life support systems.”

 

Endorsements will be announced periodically. To endorse the campaign, groups and individuals are urged to go to the Committee's website at: www.letsbanfracking.org to the Endorse page to register their support. Non-profits may endorse ballot initiatives because it is not considered lobbying to ask fellow voters to sign a petition or vote for a ballot proposal. Organizations and its members are expected to assist the campaign to gather signatures and raise money to qualify for the ballot.

 

Contributions to the campaign can be made online at www.letsbanfracking.org or by check to: Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan, PO Box 490, Charlevoix, MI, 49720. Contributions must include: contributor's name address, and occupation, employer name, and employer address.

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Press Release June 24, 2013

 

logo-lrg10.jpg 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 24, 2013

Contact: LuAnne Kozma, Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan

(231) 944-8750 luanne@letsbanfracking.org 

 

Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan Announces First Endorsements

Charlevoix, Michigan – Today the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan announces the first round of endorsing organizations and individuals who support the Committee's ballot initiative to ban horizontal fracking and frack wastes in Michigan.

Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash endorses the campaign. Nash, an outspoken critic of fracking, has been holding public forums on horizontal fracking in communities throughout Oakland County, reaching out to residents who are worried and outraged at the harm fracking will do to their communities' quality of life and Oakland County's water.

Dr. Christopher Grobbel, of Grobbel Environmental and Planning Associates, Traverse City, is Michigan's preeminent environmental and toxic waste clean up consultant. Grobbel has been meeting with citizen groups around the state in front-line communities about to be, or already impacted by, horizontal fracking. His hard-hitting talks and power point presentations debunk what the Department of Environmental Quality is selling to the public as “facts” and he exposes the state's atrocious environmental clean up record. Grobbel, whose educational background is in environmental law and policy, once worked for the state's groundwater division putting together the list of contamination sites, and is a frequent expert witness in numerous oil and gas contamination lawsuits.

Tony Trupiano, progressive radio talk show host of the program “Nightshift” also personally endorses the campaign. Tireless in speaking out for working people, and a frequent emcee for numerous progressive causes and rallies, Tony has been called “The Voice of Labor.”

Dr. Margaret Flowers, M.D., a physician advocating for single-payer universal health care, also endorses the campaign. Flowers recently turned her attention to fracking's serious health impacts and the need for a ban on fracking. She co-authored the article “US Climate Bomb is Ticking: What the Gas Industry Doesn't Want You to Know.

A list of individuals endorsing the campaign is being compiled for the Committee's website. “The people endorsing the campaign are ordinary people from all around the state, employed in many different occupations,” said campaign director LuAnne Kozma, “including an apparel supervisor, an analyst for the State of Michigan, artists, attorneys, a bartender, a biologist for the federal government, a broker, a builder, small business owners, a carpenter, a chef, a Christmas tree farmer, a dentist, a disabled veteran, an ecologist, an educator, an elected official, an energy consultant, engineers, retired engineers, a director of a religious temple, a finance analyst, a health educator, a historic interpreter, a homemaker, a hospice worker, landscape architects, librarians, a medical librarian, a medical technologist, a mental health worker, musicians, nurses, physicians and retired physicians, professors and retired professors, a radio personality, realtors, receptionists, social workers, a speech-language pathologist, students, teachers, a tool technician, a waste management business owner, a township supervisor, a web developer, a wedding planner, a writer, and more.”

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce recently called the ballot initiative petition “dangerous” and labeled the Committee as “environmental extremists.” “We won't put up with the fear-mongering and name-calling by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce describing Michigan voters who are standing up for democracy and the protection of our environment and public health from an extremely polluting, toxic industry,” stated Kozma.

All ballot initiatives are non-partisan. Initiatives are an electoral process guaranteed by the Michigan state constitution. The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan is a ballot question committee registered with the Secretary of State Bureau of Elections. The purpose of a ballot initiative is to put a vote of the people on the ballot in a statewide election.

Among the organizational endorsers are: Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, which sued Nestle over public trust water issues and bottling water in Mecosta county; Article32.org-Idle No More (www.article32.org), a Michigan Native American grassroots group seeking to uphold the treaty rights of Native Americans to protect the environment; Gray Panthers of Washtenaw County, which works on issues of stewardship and protection of Great Lakes water resources, corporate control, and privatization; Green Party of Michigan, which champions environmental wisdom and grassroots democracy; Kalamazoo Peace Center; Crawford County Peaceseekers, a grassroots group located in the heart of fracked Michigan; Progressive Democrat Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party; North Oakland Democratic Club; and Natural Awakenings West Michigan.

Endorsements will be announced periodically. To endorse the campaign, organizations, groups and individuals are urged to go to the Committee's website at: www.letsbanfracking.org and go to the Endorse page to register their support. Non-profits may endorse ballot initiatives because it is not considered lobbying to ask fellow voters to sign a petition or vote for a ballot proposal. Organizations and its members are expected to assist the campaign to gather signatures and and raise money to qualify for the ballot. 

Contributions to the campaign can be made online at www.letsbanfracking.org or by check to: Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan, PO Box 490, Charlevoix, MI, 49720. Contributions must include: contributor's name address, and occupation, employer name, and employer address.

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Press Release March 27, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 27, 2013 (Updated April 2, 2013)

CONTACT: Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan          www.LetsBanFracking.org

LuAnne Kozma, Campaign Director, 231-944-8750 luanne@letsbanfracking.org

 

Ballot initiative to ban fracking in Michigan sets kick off events,

campaign begins April 12

 

CHARLEVOIX, MICH. – The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan, a citizen-led ballot initiative group seeking to ban horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, announces its campaign kick off events in communities around the state. Volunteer circulators begin collecting signatures starting April 12, 2013 for a six-month period to qualify for the 2014 ballot.

The kick off events are for volunteers and people interested in volunteering for the campaign to obtain petitions and campaign literature, learn about the ballot initiative process and how to circulate petitions, and begin organizing in their community.

“In Michigan we have the constitutional power to write our own laws through a ballot initiative and put them before the voters. Other states threatened by fracking, such as New York and Pennsylvania, do not have this option,” said LuAnne Kozma, campaign director.

Michigan is already being fracked by the gas industry, with 52 wells permitted so far. Toxic chemicals, many of them known carcinogens, sand and water are used in the process to fracture the targeted rock formations, permanently destroying millions of gallons of water by turning them into frack wastes.

“Drilling and fracking create a tremendous amount of solid, liquid and gaseous wastes, polluting the land, water and air. Wastes and pollution are integral to the process, not an accident or a possibility, but a surety,” said Kozma. In Michigan, drill cuttings and muds are brought to landfills or solidified on site. Frack well wastes are brought to injection wells. Some of the frack wastes stay inside the frack well, transforming it into its own toxic waste well. Wastes from frack wells in one county are brought to injection wells in other locations. For example, some frack wastes generated in Kalkaska County are brought to an injection well in Grand Traverse County. Michigan has over 1,000 injection wells and more are being proposed and approved.

The frack industry is using more groundwater per well in Michigan than any other state, with wells by Encana using 21 million gallons per frack and the company’s newest applications proposing to use over 31 million gallons per frack. The industry and regulators have widely used the figure 5 million gallons. Higher amounts of water mean Michigan is also creating much more frack waste. Michigan depends on clean ground water for drinking, with more private wells than any other state. Michigan is also connected to four of the Great Lakes and its water flows directly into them.

“It is a dire situation, but there is something we can do,” noted Kozma. “As a grassroots movement of people, building signature by signature, circulator by circulator, we are the largest, on-the-ground force in the state working to ban fracking,” said Kozma. “Committee to Ban Fracking volunteers are devoted to making change, getting onto public sidewalks, in parks, at farmers’ markets and other public gatherings to raise awareness face-to-face, voter-to-voter, while collecting signatures for a ban on fracking.”

"Fracking is a hot issue in Oakland County, where Waterford Township has recently allowed gas drilling and West Bloomfield has banned it temporarily. We need hundreds of people in the Detroit area to be a part of the ballot initiative and circulate petitions," said Todd Bazzett, the Committee's coordinator for the Detroit area. "If you miss a kick off, you can help us plan an organizing event in your community."

The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan changed its petition in 2013 from a constitutional amendment proposal to a “legislative proposal.” The Committee starts collecting signatures April 12. The legislative proposal would amend the state statute, not the state constitution, and requires 258,088 signatures. When the signatures are validated, the proposal goes first to the legislature, which must pass or reject it with no changes. If the House and Senate vote no or take no action within 40 days, the proposal automatically goes to a vote of the people in the November 2014 election. Once the ballot proposal wins, the new law cannot be vetoed. The legislature can only amend it with a ¾ vote in both houses.

In addition to banning horizontal hydraulic fracturing, the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan’s ballot proposal would ban frack wastes and eliminate the state’s policy codified into current law “fostering” the oil-gas industry and “maximizing production” —“frack, baby, frack” language that provides the fossil fuel industry with uncommon special interest protection. 

“Only a ban can protect us from the significant harms of fracking,” said Peggy Case, president of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation and on the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan. “The language in our current law favoring the fossil fuel industry makes it inevitable that Michigan contributes mercilessly to global climate change and serious pollution of the Great Lakes, 20% of the world's fresh water. It is urgent that we move to alternative forms of energy to protect future generations.” 

The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan is part of a worldwide movement to ban fracking. France and Bulgaria have banned fracking, as have numerous communities in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Colorado. Vermont became the first state to ban fracking in 2012. Michigan’s citizen effort has the support of Vermont legislators Tony Klein and Peter Peltz who sponsored the Vermont ban bill. “It was clear in Vermont the dangers of fracking to our natural resources. In Vermont our natural resources are our number one priority, so it was not a difficult thing to prohibit fracking forever. It passed overwhelmingly,” said Klein. “We encourage all states, when they have the chance to do so, to ban this dangerous technique.”

The entire Lower Peninsula now stands to be fracked. Devon Energy is fracking in the A-1 carbonate layers in Crawford, Ogemaw and Roscommon Counties in the middle of the state. Encana is drilling the Utica-Collingwood shale in state forests and on private land and plans to drill and frack 500 to 1,700 sites. Densely populated areas such as Ann Arbor, Oakland County, and the Grand Rapids region-- communities historically not affected by oil and gas drilling within their borders--are now facing the threat.

The campaign website is: http://letsbanfracking.org.

To volunteer to circulate petitions, donate to, or endorse the campaign, see: http://LetsBanFracking.org

Kick Off Events: (in date order)

WARREN

March 30, 1 to 3 p.m.

Tracy’s Corner Café

29200 Hoover Rd, Warren, MI 48093

 

TRAVERSE CITY

April 2, 7 to 8 p.m.

Horizon Books, lower level

243 E Front St

BOYNE CITY

April 4, 6 to 8 p.m.

Water Street Café

113 Water St

 

FRANKENMUTH

April 5, 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Harvest Coffeehouse & Beanery

626 S Main St

 

LAPEER

April 5, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

River Street Music & Cafe`

454 W Nepessing St

 

LANSING

April 6, 9 to 10 a.m.

The Avenue Café

2021 E Michigan Ave

HOPKINS

April 6, 10 a.m. to 12 noon

118 E Main St

           

DETROIT

April 6, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ce Ce’s Pub

1426 Bagley Ave

                                  

KALAMAZOO

April 6, 1 to 2 p.m.

Bronson Park (rain location: to be announced)

200 S Rose St            

                                  

FERNDALE

April 6, 3 to 5 p.m.

Ferndale Library

222 E 9 Mile Rd

 

GRAND RAPIDS


April 6, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Kava House Café

1445 Lake Dr SE

 

ALLEGAN

April 9, 3 - 4 p.m.

Allegan District Library

331 Hubbard St

 

MOUNT PLEASANT

April 7, 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Kaya Coffee House

1029 South University

 

FENNVILLE

April 8, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Fennville Library

Lower Level of the Library

400 W Main St

 

DOUGLAS

April 9, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Douglas Library Annex

and The Well Read Bookstore

137 Center St

 

PETOSKEY

April 9, 6 to 7 p.m.

Roast and Toast Café

309 E Lake St

 

ANN ARBOR                                              

April 10, 6 to 9 p.m.

Arbor Brewing Company, Tap Room

114 East Washington St                                                        

                       

SAUGATUCK

April 11, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. or Close

Uncommon Grounds Cafe

127 Hoffman St

 

HARRISVILLE

April 11, 7 to 8 p.m.

Harrisville Holistic Center

220 N State St

 

MARQUETTE: two kick offs

April 12, 10 a.m. to 12 noon

Northern Michigan University Campus

And 7 to 9 p.m.

Ore Dock Brewing Company

114 W Spring St

 

SOUTH HAVEN

April 12, 6:45 p.m.

Before the showing of Gasland the movie

Foundry Hall

422 Eagle St

 

HASTINGS

April 12, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Thomas Jefferson Hall

328 S. Jefferson

 

MANISTEE

April 13, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

164 Harrison St

TRENTON

April 13,  3 p.m.  to 5 p.m.
Faith United Methodist Church
2530 Charlton Rd
 

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© 2014 Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan. Paid for with regulated funds by the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan, P.O. Box 490, Charlevoix, Michigan 49720

Contact us at info@letsbanfracking.org