Fracking Fear

I am writing this letter as a concerned citizen. I feel that the people of our community are being wrongfully represented by people whose sole purpose it is to do just that. The issue of fracking and a possible "Bakken" in the Beartooths is raising a lot of fear and concern, and I feel our representatives are spouting very ill informed statements. In a recent article in a newspaper about the issue of fracking in the Beartooths, Republican Representative Jason Priest was quoted saying, "It's already going on here and a lot of people support it" as well as, "The majority of residents in this district support gas drilling and mining." I think it is safe to say his intention in saying this was to both minimalize and generalize the issue at hand. Never has there been a looming danger of our community being turned into a Bakken, as John Mork (Energy Co. of America) stated he wanted to do in his press release last month. I am unsure as to whether Rep. Priest was bold face lying, or is perhaps out of touch with the residents he supposedly represents. Let me clarify. The Carbon County News held a poll on the subject of fracking in the Beartooths, and the results were as follows; 86% of residents voted in opposition to fracking here. The online petition calling for, and titled, "No Fracking on the Beartooth Front" has received almost 1,300 signatures in a matter of one month. As a resident of Red Lodge who speaks to residents and who reads the newspaper, I can tell you whole heartedly that "...the majority of residents" are most definitely not in support of Energy Co. of America's plan. I think our community needs to unite and actively pursue measures to save the place we call home. I also think we need to drastically reconsider who we elect as our Representatives. The people who hold that position now are definitely not accurately representing anything even similar to the opinion and stance of our people. Drew McManus Red Lodge