Gas drilling in Talladega National Forest threatens the health of nearby communities, including Oxford and Anniston. Fracking consumes millions of gallons of freshwater — a resource we can’t afford to waste — and produces vast amounts of toxic “flowback” that can contaminate water supplies with chemicals like mercury, lead, arsenic, radium and uranium.
In some areas where fracking takes place, methane has migrated to underground drinking water, causing it to become flammable. The BLM’s decision to sell leases in the Talladega is based on a 2004 Forest Service study. Disturbingly, this study is outdated and inadequate — it doesn’t even mention fracking. Selling gas leases in the Talladega National Forest is a threat to our water and air quality, as well as to the forest’s value as a recreational resource and tourist attraction.
Residents of Anniston, Oxford and surrounding communities should work to oppose these leases and protect our National Forests from reckless development.