Press Release March 26, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 26, 2014

Contact: LuAnne Kozma, Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan

(231) 944-8750 luanne@letsbanfracking.org

Health Impacts of Shale Gas Development” presentation by Dr. Larysa Dyrszka and fundraiser to be held in Ann Arbor by Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan

 

Charlevoix, Michigan – The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan announces the first in a series of speakers and events on the public health impacts of gas drilling and fracking. Dr. Larysa Dyrszka, M.D., a co-founder of Concerned Health Professionals of New York, will present “Health Impacts of Shale Gas Development” at Washtenaw Community College on Thursday evening, April 10 at 7 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public. Parking is free at Washtenaw Community College.

A fundraiser reception to support the Committee's ballot initiative to ban horizontal fracking and frack wastes in Michigan will precede Dyrszka's presentation, from 5:30 to 6:45 pm.

Evidence is mounting in states with ongoing fracking and gas and oil development that people, animals, and entire communities are getting sick and paying the price for this toxic industry. Many are leaving their homes due to the contamination of their land, the water they drink and the air they breathe,” reports LuAnne Kozma, campaign director for Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan.

"This is a timely opportunity for the Michigan Public Health Community, nurses, doctors and parents. Dr. Dyrszka provides current information and research on how this new form of energy is affecting the health of residents who live in the shadow of the drilling rigs," said long-time public health nurse in Southeast Michigan, Diane Weckerle, RN Med.

The Committee's fundraiser reception takes place at 5:30 to 6:45 pm at the Morris Lawrence Building, room 105, Washtenaw Community College at 4800 East Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Tickets are $40 per person and may be reserved at the Committee's website at www.letsbanfracking.org “Fundraisers.”

The lecture takes place at 7:00 pm down the hall in Room 101, also in the Morris Lawrence Building.

More about Dr. Larysa Dyrszka:

Dr. Larysa Dyrszka, a pediatrician, has been speaking out on behalf of children for a long time -- in defense of human rights in the United Nations Economic and Social Committee, against trafficking internationally and most recently against the health effects of fracking for natural gas in New York State. Over the past three years she has gathered data and scientific research on health problems from fracking in Pennsylvania, Colorado and beyond. She has presented testimony on the "Potential Health Impacts of Gas Drilling" in the New York State Assembly, at the NYS Democratic Caucus Hearing, at the Assembly's Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation, at the Delaware River Basin Commission, in Columbus, Ohio and Altoona, PA, at Rutgers University, Sarah Lawrence College, to the Master of Public Health Program Upstate University of CNY, and to the NY State Bar Association conference on gas drilling. She has also given public presentations to warn residents in the southern counties of New York where energy companies have been eager to drill.

Dr. Dyrszka is a founding member of Concerned Health Professionals of NY which organized health professionals to raise concerns about the health effects of gas drilling in New York. The efforts of health professionals and other environmental activists resulted in a temporary moratorium on fracking throughout New York State. She is also an active member of Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy, an organization that provides the public with independent scientific research and information on fracking and healthy energy alternatives.

The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan collected over 70,000 signatures face-to-face from Michigan voters in 2013. This year the Committee is focusing on fundraising and public awareness to again collect signatures in 2015. The Committee plans to bring in more medical and public health experts to warn Michigan residents and practitioners of the harms to human and animal health caused by the frack industry.

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: January 15, 2014

Press Release: Colorado fracking experts to speak in Bloomfield Hills

 

January 15, 2014

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

CONTACT: LuAnne Kozma, Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan, 231-944-8750  luanne@letsbanfracking.org

 

 

Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan to hold fundraiser event featuring Colorado activists Wes Wilson and Phil Doe

 

(Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)--The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan is hosting a fundraiser event, "Building the Ban Fracking Movement by Ballot Initiative: Protecting Michigan and Colorado Water," on Friday, January 31, 2014, 7:00-9:00 p.m. in Bloomfield Hills, featuring guest speakers Wes Wilson and Phil Doe, ban fracking activists from Colorado.

 

Donations to the campaign are welcome. Suggested donation $75. Any donation over $20 must be by check only. You may reserve a seat at www.letsbanfracking.org (fundraisers) or by calling 231-944-8750.

 

Both speakers are in the forefront of the ban fracking movement in Colorado. Wes Wilson, an environmental engineer for 35 years for the EPA, holds a B.S. in Geological Engineering and an M.S. in Water Resources. Wes was the whistle blower featured in movies “Gasland” and “Split Estate.” Phil Doe, former Bureau Chief and Environmental Compliance Officer for the Bureau of Reclamation in the Department of Interior, was also a featured whistle blower on 60 Minutes.  They will talk about the serious harms Colorado communities are facing with the frack industry, and what people are doing to fight back using direct democracy. 

 

The event takes place at Birmingham Unitarian Church, 38651 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304. 

 

This program is not sponsored by and may not reflect the views of Birmingham Unitarian Church.

 

 

To reserve a seat, or for questions, please call 231-944-8750.

 

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Press Release: October 8, 2013 Committee to Ban Fracking gets 70,000 signatures, continues campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 8, 2013

Contact: LuAnne Kozma, Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan

(231) 944-8750 luanne@letsbanfracking.org

 

Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan ballot initiative rallies 70,000 signatures, organizers to continue campaign and fundraising

Charlevoix, MichiganThe Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan, the ballot question committee collecting signatures for a legislative initiative to put a ban on horizontal fracking and frack wastes to a statewide vote in 2014, reports that it has not yet gathered the required 258,088 signatures in a six-month period that started in April. Committee organizers will pursue fundraising activities to continue gathering signatures until the required number is met, and will use both paid and volunteer petitioners. The official deadline for turning in signatures is in May 2014.

 

The Committee tallies 69,890 signatures at press time and is still counting. Last year, the Committee gathered over 30,000 signatures on a similar initiative that would have amended the state constitution to ban fracking. In all, the Committee manages over 500 volunteers who collected over 92% of the signatures, and ten paid petitioners, with a dedicated group of all-volunteer organizers. The Committee aims to change that equation in the coming months.

“We've built the movement to ban fracking and spread the word statewide reaching tens of thousands of Michigan voters. We now know that people want direct democracy to work, but it's only a matter of time and money to get more feet on the ground doing the talking and collecting. We have come to the conclusion that we need to pay experienced circulators as many other ballot initiatives have successfully done,” said campaign director LuAnne Kozma. She noted that while dedicated campaign volunteers have given generous amounts of their time and many have learned and mastered the art of ballot initiative petitioning, most volunteers have limited experience with the rigors and timeliness requirements of ballot initiatives. “Of course we are disappointed with not meeting the goal in these past six months, we have a ways to go, but no one said it would be easy to train hundreds of people about the mechanics of direct democracy and reach 320,000 voters in person. Ballot initiatives require determination and several tries. We are fired up by how many people we have now met who also want to ban fracking. We are determined to continue and we are destined to win.”

 

The tide is turning in the Committee's favor. Circulators reported seeing a dramatic difference in public attitudes this year compared to last, which is backed up by Pew Research Center survey results that more Americans now oppose fracking than favor it (49% to 44%), and a sixteen-point increase in opposition occurred in the Midwest, with a 48% majority of Midwesterners now opposing fracking, compared to only 32% opposed six months ago, the same time period as the Committee's campaign.(1)

“We definitely noticed the difference. The gathering is easy and getting easier,” said Peggy Case, Committee to Ban Fracking organizer for northwest Michigan. “As a grassroots movement, we started with a committee of nine people and zero dollars at the start of the year, and began building a network of people who reached 70,000 people face-to-face. We encounter people who thank us for doing this and are rooting for us to win. They get it that only a ban can protect us and that to get fracked with 'regulated fracking' is not the answer. Our only obstacle is getting enough people out there for longer periods of time and to do that, we need the financial resources to pay knowledgeable, dedicated workers to gather signatures in the volumes necessary to get on the ballot. We've now trained paid petitioners in our issue and have seen how effective they are in reaching out to people about fracking, getting significant numbers of signatures, and being committed to making it to the ballot. An effective paid petitioner can gather 500 to 1,000 signatures in one week. This is a 'call to arms' and action. Supporters who want to make a difference and make this happen, all they have to do is write a check. We need a core of significant donors who are willing to make larger contributions. Without a core organization, union or religious group sponsoring this drive, our effort is dependent upon our fellow humans who want to protect each other from fracking. Who will step up and give those amounts? The sooner we have those contributions, large and small, the sooner we can continue.”

 

The Committee plans a series of fundraiser events throughout the fall and will host a free screening of the documentary Gasland Part II, with filmmaker Josh Fox in his only live appearance in Michigan on Wednesday, October 16 at the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak at 6:30 p.m. Details are at the Committee's website: www.letsbanfracking.org. Campaign details will be announced at the screening after the Committee meets to plan strategy.

The list of places in Michigan getting fracked by horizontal fracking continues to grow. Last month permits were issued for a frack well in Livingston County just 30 miles from Lansing, as well as in Oceana and Sanilac counties. Hillsdale, Ionia, Muskegon, Kalkaska, Crawford, Ogemaw and Roscommon, all are facing deep frack wells, along with wells in Cheboygan, Missaukee and Antrim counties. Mineral rights for fracking have been leased out in nearly every county in the Lower Peninsula. Michigan has over 1,000 toxic injection wells for frack wastes and is building more, and is expected to take in wastes from other states' fracking operations such as Ohio which has less than 200 injection wells projected to be filled to capacity within two years. The frack industry is using more water per frack in Michigan, with the Canadian company Encana proposing to use over 1 billion gallons of fresh groundwater in a series of wells, topping national records.

 

Donors are urged to contact the Committee by phone at: 231-944-8750. Contributions can also 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, occupation, employer name, and employer address.

(1) Pew Research Center, September 2013, http://www.people-press.org/files/legacy-pdf/9-26-13%20Energy%20Release.pdf

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Press Release October 1, 2013

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 1, 2013

Contact: LuAnne Kozma, Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan

(231) 944-8750 luanne@letsbanfracking.org

 

Organizations Voice Support for Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan ballot initiative

 

Charlevoix, Michigan – More individuals and groups are joining the chorus of endorsements for the citizen-led ballot initiative by Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan, as the Committee continues to collect signatures.

 

Wes Wilson, the EPA whistleblower featured in the films Gasland and Split Estate, endorses the campaign. Wilson, who worked for 35 years with the Environmental Protection Agency, filed a whistleblower lawsuit in 2004 after he wrote a report to Congress and the Inspector General of EPA challenging the accuracy of an EPA study that had concluded there was no evidence that hydraulic fracturing posed a threat to drinking water. That study, he claimed, did not use established agency standards and relied on a peer review panel dominated by energy industry personnel. He is also spearheading a ballot initiative in Colorado to limit the frack industry's use of water in Colorado.

 

Activist, grassroots groups in other states also endorse, including: the New York groups Coalition to Protect New York, New York Climate Action Group, and FrackbustersNY; Ohio groups Faith Communities Together for Frac Awareness, Freshwater Accountability Project, Northwest Ohio Alliance to Stop Fracking, and Williams County Alliance; the Illinois group, SAFE—Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment; in Kentucky, Kentucky Climate Action; in Tennessee, the North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy and Sustainable Chattanooga; in Canada, Canadians for Action on Climate Change, and Climate SOS Canada. The grassroots groups Wrong Kind of Green and Peace of the Action also endorse.

 

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.

 

All endorsing organizations and individuals are listed on the Committee's website. New 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. Michigan 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 September 19, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 19, 2013

Contact: LuAnne Kozma, Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan

(231) 944-8750 luanne@letsbanfracking.org

Ban fracking petition deadline nears, more endorsers announced

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. The Committee's self-imposed deadline to collect signatures is October 1. Circulators are urged to send in sheets no later than October 2. New volunteers should contact the campaign website immediately to volunteer and get petition sheets.

National leaders, local leaders, organizations and small businesses are stepping up to endorse the campaign.

Activists in other states who are seeing the harmful effects of fracking include the powerhouse group, Marcellus Protest, based in Pennsylvania, who is actively endorsing and promoting Michigan's efforts. Phil Doe, with Be the Change in Colorado, the leader of a state ballot initiative to protect Colorado's water from fracking, and who most recently has reported on the devastating effects of Colorado's massive floods on heavily-fracked Weld County, also endorses the Michigan ban fracking initiative.

International leader Jonathan Deal of the South African group trying to ban fracking, Treasure the Karoo Action Group, and the 2013 recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize for Africa (only one award is given out to one person per continent worldwide) and who has travelled extensively in the United States visiting fracking operations, gives his wholehearted support to the Committee to Ban Fracking. Also endorsing, from Canada, Emma Lui and Council of Canadians. Lui toured the deep frack wells in Kalkaska County as part of their group's Protect the Great Lakes Forever Tour and wrote about Michigan's ballot initiative.

National leaders Dr. Jill Stein, the 2012 presidential candidate for the Green Party, who recently came to Michigan and spoke out about fracking at the Occupy National Gathering in Kalamazoo, and David Cobb, who barnstormed through four Michigan cities this week giving presentations with the grassroots movement called Move to Amend, also endorse.

Local leaders Craig Covey, former mayor of Ferndale, and Summerfield Township supervisor John Chandler, in Monroe County, also endorse.

New endorsing individuals and organizations:

Alcona Local Food Association

Barry County Democratic Committee

John Chandler, Summerfield Township Supervisor, Monroe County

David Cobb, spokesperson, Move to Amend

Council of Canadians (www.canadians.org)

Craig Covey, former mayor, City of Ferndale

Jonathan Deal, 2013 winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize for Africa, Treasure the Karoo

Phil Doe, Be the Change, Colorado ban fracking activist

Jill Stein, 2012 Green Party candidate for president

Marcellus Protest, (Pennsylvania)

Treasure the Karoo Action Group (South Africa)

Peace, Love and Planet, Northville

Progressive Printing, Battle Creek

Roger Taylor, radio host, WKZO, Kalamazoo

Sally Rogers, folk musician, Thrushwood Press Publishing

Play Environments, Inc., Holland (MI)

AMPM24-7 Productions, Honor

Ideology, Inc., Oxford

Moratorium Now! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoff, Detroit

Howie Hawkins, Syracuse, NY

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.

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 September 13, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 13, 2013

Contact: LuAnne Kozma, Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan

(231) 944-8750 luanne@letsbanfracking.org

 

University of Michigan hydraulic fracturing reports compromised by steering committee contributions to Michigan Chamber's political campaign aimed at defeating ballot initiative

 

Committee to Ban Fracking's 2013 ballot initiative not mentioned in University of Michigan frack study

 

Charlevoix, Michigan – The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan, a statewide ballot initiative campaign (www.letsbanfracking.org), exposes the undisclosed financial conflict of interest in the University of Michigan's Graham Institute's hydraulic fracturing study, issued last week.

 

University of Michigan fracking study steering committee members contributed to the Michigan Chamber of Commerce’s political campaign against the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan‘s veto-proof ballot initiative. An analysis of the Committee’s campaign–or anything about Michigan’s ballot initiative process–is nowhere to be found in the U of M's reports. One brief mention of the Committee to Ban Fracking misleadingly references the 2012 campaign to amend the state constitution.

 

Two steering committee members, John DeVries of the law firm Mika Meyers Beckett & Jones, which represents Encana in fracking cases in Michigan, and Gregory Fogle who owns Old Mission Energy, each contributed $500 to the Michigan Chamber of Commerce’s “PAC-II” ballot question committee (Secretary of State ID # 513425) which vociferously opposes the ban fracking ballot initiative with a campaign of their own called “Protect Michigan’s Energy Future.” Together DeVries and Fogle speak for the Michigan Oil and Gas Association (MOGA), helping to steer the U of M's integrated assessment report. They were quoted in a UM press release last fall announcing the Graham study. DeVries in particular claimed the study would be “unbiased.” On May 20 MOGA itself gave $10,000 to PAC-II. Total of the three contributions: $11,000, out of $324,525 collected in the second quarter of 2013. PAC-II has put up billboards around the state to defeat the ban fracking ballot initiative. On May 8 the Chamber put out a press release denouncing the initiative as dangerous, emotional, and extremist. A few weeks before, Deb Muchmore, speaking for MOGA, said: “We are taking the initiative seriously….”. Blasted across the Michigan news media, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce’s emerging campaign was highly visible.

We knew before the study was even conducted that with industry steering the U of M researchers' work, that it is an inherently 'frackademia' study,” said LuAnne Kozma. “The reason for the omission of our campaign's 2013 ballot initiative from the Public Perception report, and the total lack of any mention of the constitutional power of the people of Michigan's right to referendum and initiative in the Law & Policy report, and the fact that we the People are actually using it to ban fracking statewide, is made crystal clear in light of the U of M study's steering committee and their financial contributions—undisclosed in the U of M reports-- to the Michigan Chamber of Commerce's political campaign fund aimed to defeat our initiative.”

The Law and Policy Technical Report, by lead author Sara Gosman of the UM law school, makes no mention of the Committee to Ban Fracking's ballot initiative, nor of Michigan's voters' power under the state constitution to initiative and referendum. Under state and regional trends, other states’ ban and moratoria are identified, as are Michigan regulatory (not ban) bills introduced this summer. “The Law and Policy report details 'prioritized pathways' to guide future policy options, including options for 'public participation in governmental decisions on hydraulic fracturing,' but not the most obvious one of all spelled out in the state constitution that Michigan voters readily make use of–direct democracy by initiative and referendum,” said Kozma.

The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan’s campaign collects signatures through October 1, 2013. Volunteer or donate at www.letsbanfracking.org.

To make a comment on the U of M’s Graham Institute’s website about the hydraulic fracturing reports go here. The comment deadline is October 7, 2013.

More information about this story can be found at: www.banmichiganfracking.org.

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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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© 2015 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