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Gregory and Rebecca Hauge, Fargo, Published November 01 2012

Letter: North Dakota should be questioning the long-term fallout from oil fracking

There has been mention of fracking in political ads recently in which it’s implied one party wants to stop fracking, which would stop the oil production and bring that component of our economy to a grinding halt.

The people of North Dakota are concerned about our state. Certainly, we would like to see oil extracted without destroying the western half of our state. Which fracking recipe is the least destructive to the land and water, how to gain access to the drill sites with the least environmental impact, etc., are issues for today and tomorrow. Having concern for the land and water where you live does not make you a “radical extremist, left-wing environmentalist.”

Oil companies converged upon our state with profits in mind. Taking care with the land, water and air of our state doesn’t figure into bottom lines very well if extra expenses would be incurred to be environmentally responsible. Expecting the oil industry to independently step up and do the right thing for our state is naïve.

These are not individuals with the capacity to self-regulate; they are out-of-state companies, and independent regulation is necessary. Pushing for oversight of the oil industry, for regulations that take care of North Dakota’s environment, and for this to be done thoughtfully with an eye to our state’s future is very important.

When the oil is gone, what will be left? Quality water is necessary for quality life. No one needs to lose sleep worrying about oil company profits. They are doing OK. We urge a vote for the party that focuses on the interests of the whole, rather than of the few.