Fracking opponents rally in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The process of “fracking,” an increasingly popular technique for extracting natural gas, is highly controversial, and state lawmakers are considering a ten-year ban on the practice.

To show their support for banning fracking, a group of advocates gathered outside Springfield City Hall Thursday morning. They released “Shalefield Stories;”  a collection of stories from people all across the country who believe their health was impacted by fracking in their region.

A similar rally was also scheduled Thursday in Boston.

Opponents say that fracking is dangerous to the environment, and can result in air pollution, water contamination, and even an increase in earthquakes.

“These environmental issues are coming to our doorstep by energy companies desperate to make money for stockholders. We will feel the negative effects if we don’t make ourselves knowledgeable about these issues,” Springfield City Councilor Melvin Edwards said.

“We are not going to be as dependent on Arab states and Russia and other states to provide us with oil and gas, but we will pay a price that is way too heavy,” said Dr. Jens Christiansen of Mount Holyoke College.

Those who back the process say that it is safe, and has resulted in an increase in the supply of natural gas.

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