John Fenton at home in Wyoming. Photo: Jeremy Buckingham/flickr
John Fenton, a Wyoming farmer spent time touring Australia during February and March warning that what happened to him, his family and his community, the ‘poisoned water, polluted air and health issues’ can happen here too.
His 364 hectare farm at Pavillion, in the US has gas wells, 24 of them; about 200 unconventional ones are in his district, there because of fracking for coal seam gas. He gets paid, $ 2000 annually for each well but says “I would gladly pay them (gas company) what they pay me if they would go away,”
Fracking, is where a liquid, usually comprising of water, chemicals and sand is injected under high pressure horizontally into deep layers of shale rock to extract natural gas and other fuels. The rock is fractured in the process allowing the fuel bearing fluid to be extracted.
The farmers are not to drink their well water; they can tell that the water is polluted with chemicals as soon as they turn on the tap and must shower with the windows open “to prevent a build up of explosive gas.”
AGL has cautioned people not to draw comparisons between Mr Fenton’s experiences in the US and what is taking place in the Gloucester valley where he gave a talk at the end of February.
He is featured in the Gaslands film, which explores the issue. Don’t be swayed by the ‘pot of Gold it has become our pot of poison’ he told Australia, with his tour adding to the debate here.
Mr Fenton was invited to Australia by Lock the Gate Alliance.