Gasland Film Director Josh Fox endorses Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan; more individuals and groups endorse by Ban Fracking in Michigan, July 8, 2013
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://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.
RespectMyPlanet.org, a non-profit organization that has a database of all horizontal frack wells in Michigan containing photographs and permit and application data.
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, 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.