Marjorie Budd: Chatham Park or fracking?

August 23, 2013 

Chatham Park or fracking?

It is exciting to read about the planned development of Chatham Park east of Pittsboro near Jordan Lake, with its wooded trails, village centers and “clean tech” companies envisioned for 60,000 residents. Such a community with millions of square feet of office and lab space would certainly draw many good jobs to N.C., just as Research Triangle Park has done.

Unfortunately, however, Chatham Park lies next to shale oil deposits, at the very site where our legislature is hell-bent to conduct fracking. Fracking is an environmental catastrophe. No company would want to relocate to a place surrounded by drilling rigs and flareups, roads destroyed by truck traffic to fracking wells, retention ponds filled with mystery toxic fluids, contaminated drinking water, and earthquakes and air pollution – all part of the fracking experience.

Proponents for fracking say the drilling and blasting operations will bring jobs to N.C. According to a report from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, we can expect an estimated 387 jobs per annum over a seven-year period with many of those jobs being filled by experienced out-of-state workers.

Those fracking jobs do not begin to compare to the thousands of permanent, high-paying jobs we would have with the development of Chatham Park. Or to put it another way: Those fracking jobs do not begin to compensate for the thousands of permanent, high-paying jobs we will lose if fracking is conducted in Chatham County.

Marjorie Budd

Cary

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