Grand Rapids Mayor Questioned by Oil and Gas Industry Official Over Fracking

Published By : 20 Jan 2015 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

In his last State of the City speech, Grand Rapids mayor George Heartwell auctioned a moratorium on the process of hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking. He said that the city required more time on assessing the safety of the technology that is being used to boost oil production and increasing gas wells.

Grand Rapids has not witnessed a gas or oil well in the recent past inside city limits, according to director of the Michigan Associated Petroleum Industries on Monday. He added that fracking technology has already been safely practiced in Michigan and Grand Rapids has reaped the benefits.

John Griffin, the executive director of API, said that they have performed it for more than 60 years in the state on more than 12,000 wells without having any negative impact.

Griffin also added that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has had some of the strictest oil and gas regulations in the United States. Meanwhile, the U.S. EPA has also concluded that fracking is indeed, safe for the environment.

Griffin said that nearly 80 per cent of the Michigan households take care of their heating options through natural gas. At least 75 per cent of that fuel is imported from outside states.

There have been major benefits so far for Grand Rapids through oil and gas production. The city has been receiving grants from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. The trust fund has so far earned millions from the royalties it receives from oil and gas wells on state land.

Grand Rapids received US$300,000 in 2013 as a grant from the trust fund to create Pleasant Park, which is a new urban park in the Heritage Hill neighborhood.
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