Thursday, May 3, 2012

"Will there be blood on your hands?" Reverend asks Youngstown City Council for Fracking ban

Youngstown citizen, Rev. Monica Beasley-Martin, addressed City Council, May 2, 2012, Youngstown, Ohio,  urging council to pass a rights-based ban on all fracking-related activities in the Mahoning and Mill Creek watersheds. If council were to do this they will become the first major Ohio city to enact a ban.

3 minute video can be seen here also if it does not load directly below:

This is a transcript of the presentation to Youngstown City Council by Rev. Monica Beasley-Martin 5-2-12:
Thank you for the opportunity to speak before you this evening. I grew up and raised my son on Neosho Rd. near Mill Creek Park. I first heard about hydraulic fracturing in October at a rally sponsored by Occupy Youngstown, where Mr. Howard Markert spoke.

Hydraulic fracturing is a process, where millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals are pumped by extremely high pressure, underground, to break apart rock and release gas. Many of the chemicals used are toxic and known carcinogens. The fracturing of just one single well could use anywhere from 2 to 10 million gallons of water. It takes about 200 truck trips to transport just 1 million gallons of water.

All gas wells, will eventually, rust out and leak. The Wall Street Journal reported that 1 in 10 new gas wells tested in Pennsylvania leaked. On a 10 well drilling site, the odds of leakage approach 100%. Over time, they are all apt to release methane into groundwater. 693 of Ohio's existing gas wells failed inspection in 2011.

I learned that this was something that could occur in my beloved Mill Creek Park. The park I rode my bike through, got lost in, and attended family reunions in, as a child. The park my husband and I took our son to, where we visited Lanterman's Mill, the Ford Nature Center, and the Rose Garden, where we saw Civil War Re-enactments, rode the paddle boats, fed the gold fish, and had church picnics.

What were you doing New Year’s Eve 2011? I am sure most of us, who happened to be in town, remember exactly where we were, and exactly what we were doing, when that 4.0 earthquake hit. I had just returned home from a shopping trip and was exiting my vehicle when I literally felt the earth move under my feet, heard a tremendous boom, and saw my house shake. Later it was determined this, and the other 12 quakes our area experienced, were connected to a nearby injection well, located near a fault, in which contaminated fracking waste was placed.

I went to Columbus and talked to state legislators and I was told that their hands were tied because of the Halliburton loop hole in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. This is the act that exempted natural gas drilling from the restrictions and standards in the Safe Drinking Water Act. It also excused companies, using hydraulic fracturing, from being forced to disclose the specific makeup, or combination, of chemicals used in franking.

On the local level, public officials say, that their hands are tied too, but by the state. And while I understand that the state issues permits for gas wells, I believe, as elected officials, your first responsibility is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of those, by whom you were elected to serve. Hydraulic fracturing leaves a negative impact on our land, water, air, and lives. I am a mother, grandmother, preacher, teacher, and I love my birthplace. But, the buck must stop here; we can no longer sit idly by, while legislative loop holes destroy our community. The citizens of Youngstown have a right to clean air and clean water. 20 local Ohio communities have already taken some sort of stance against fracking. I implore you, ladies and gentlemen of Youngstown City Council, to do likewise. Please consider enacting a rights based ordinance against fracking.

I will close today, with the words of Oglala Sioux Chief, John Hollow Horn (1932), "Someday the earth will weep, she will beg for her life, she will cry with tears of blood. You will make a choice, if you will help her, or let her die, and when she dies, you too will die.”

FOLLOW-UP: Reverend Monica Beasley-Martin also delivered a sermon at Vienna, OH, injection well, leading residents in prayer and song. READ MORE >>

ALSO SEE: (soundtrack is We Will Not Stop .)

Find other concerned citizens at:
contact at 330-201-0402 or


Listen to complete We Will Not Stop song and other Jonathan Blackshire music at

The lyrics are important:
We Will Not Stop (Occupation Songs) by Jonathan Blackshire. (All songs off of Occupation Songs are available for free download, though you can still support Mr. Blackshire by buying them from his store.)

Chorus: We will not stop until you listen.
We will not let you frack up our land.
If you keep putting profits before people,
Then the people are gonna take a stand.

You tried to tell us it was safe.
But, now we know that was a lie.
When people started getting sick,
And they found out they could light their water on fire.
But, when you talked to the SEC.
You told a very different tale.
You said that there were many risks,
Including blowouts, cratering, explosions, and spills.
~Chorus ~
I won't mention the damaged forests.
Don't need to talk about air pollution.
Not going to talk about your pipelines,
Or mention 6 million dollars in campaign contributions.
No, the worst is what you've done to our water.
Because we can't drink your money.
Contaminated with Radium, Barium, Strontium, Benzene, and Toluene.
~Chorus ~
What was it you said to Crystal Stroud,
When she started to lose her hair?
When she had trouble breathing,
You said it wasn't caused by your drilling there.
And what about Mr Terry Greenwood,
When half his calves were dead at birth.
Because his cattle drank from his pond,
That had the chemicals you let leech into the earth.
~Chorus x2~ then repeat last line twice.

See the complete story of Ron Barron's painting, Fracked Youngstown: 12-31-2011, at:

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