October 14, 2013 10:12 am


October 14, 2013

Texas-based GeoSouthern Energy Corp. on Sept. 3 received state approval to inject 3 million gallons of water, sand and a chemical mixture into a geological formation in Conway Township which is 30 miles away from Mason in hopes of tapping oil or natural gas. Here is what our elected state officials had to say on the matter.

If you would like to read more about the fracking happening in Fowlerville read this story; ‘Fracking’ stirs up controversy


Tom Cochran

The following is an editorial written by State Representative Tom Cochran (D-Mason). If you have questions about this commentary, please contact Rep. Cochran’s office by calling (517) 373-0587.


One of the most important issues we face as a state and our country is ensuring that future generations have access to energy sources that are safe for the environment and affordable for hardworking families. Spikes in gas and oil prices can have a huge impact on family budgets. We also want to make sure that our children and grandchildren will continue to have the opportunity to enjoy Michigan’s abundant natural beauty by breathing clean air and swimming and boating in clean water.


Natural gas presents a promising resource that is affordable and domestic. The United States has vast reserves of natural gas that can be extracted right here at home. This means less dependence on imported fossil fuels and more job opportunities for families across the state and country. Natural gas has come to provide an increasingly large proportion of our country’s energy supply in recent years and will likely continue to play a large part in our energy future. And while there are great opportunities associated with natural gas production, it is also important that we ensure the process is conducted in a manner that keeps our air and water clean and safe.


I was proud to join with House colleagues in introducing bills to ensure that hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as “fracking”, is conducted safely and transparently. Fracking is not new in Michigan. Vertical drilling has been in use since 1952, but new, horizontal drilling uses more chemicals, more water and more land. The common sense measures introduced in our bill package will ensure a bright future for Michigan’s environment, health and energy needs.


Hydraulic fracturing involves the pumping of water and various chemicals into a well to stimulate oil and gas production. The liquid that comes back out of the wells is called “flowback and produced water” and may contain additional chemicals that are worse than went in.  My legislation, House Bill 4905, would codify the current Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) prohibition on spraying this flowback water onto roads as a way to suppress dust in the summer months. This bill is in response to an incident that took place in Cheboygan County in 2012 when flowback from wells was sprayed onto roads. The DEQ has already adopted a prohibition on the practice. We can ensure that the commonsense measure remains in place by codifying it into statute.


Natural gas has an important role to play in Michigan’s economy and reducing our impact on the environment. Our state has been a leader in ensuring that natural gas drilling is conducted in a manner that protects Michigan’s air and water. The commonsense measures in the bill will continue that legacy and ensure that natural gas extraction is conducted safely and efficiently.


 Joe Hune

Truths about fracking

By Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg


With the recent talk of natural gas exploration in Northwestern Livingston County, I would like to provide you with some facts about the practice provided to me by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).


The DEQ exists to protect the environment and public health by regulating industrial activity that may impact air, water and soil. The DEQ monitors gas and oil production in Michigan as well. The DEQ claims confidence in its ability to protect the public and allow the gas and oil industry to continue developing local energy sources.


Fracking works by pumping a mixture of water, sand and a small amount of chemicals into an oil or gas formation deep underground and applies pressure. The pressure fractures rock layers, releasing oil or gas reserves. The sand holds the fractures open to continue allowing the oil or gas to flow into the well.


Furthermore, state regulators have been studying fracking for five decades. As the lead regulatory agency in Michigan. The department claims that with over 12,000 wells in Michigan, there has not been one incident to date.


Most of the concerns that I have heard about fracking have quite understandably been environmental and health damages it may cause.


If you feel that there is any sort of leak or other wrongdoing, please feel free to contact the DEQ’s Pollution Emergency Alerting System at 810-292-4706. For more facts about fracking in Michigan, please visit www.Michigan.gov/DEQ. As always, feel free to contact my office at 1-855-JOE-HUNE, or email us at SenJHune@senate.michigan.gov. Our office will be happy to assist you.



Sen. Joe Hune is chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. He represents the 22nd state Senate District, which includes Livingston and Shiawassee counties, and the southern part of Ingham County. The Ingham County portion includes Bunkerhill, Leslie, Stockbridge and Vevay townships, and the cities of Leslie and Mason.


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