Cindy’s family’s Maryland roots, on both sides, go back hundreds of years in Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Carroll Counties. Keith is from Virginia and all of his family resides on the East Coast. Through prior marriages, they ended up in Colorado in a large “planned” community that they describe as, "sucking the souls out of them." They have learned the hard way about developers’ corporate greed and about how fracking destroys communities.
Cindy lived on the Western Slope of Colorado during the “shale oil boom and bust” in the early 1980’s. What she experienced first-hand was community destruction. And now, the fracking being done in Weld County, Colorado and the 4 Corners area of Colorado are wreaking the same havoc. Even the local Fox News station ran a big expose about extremely negative community fracking experiences and total disregard for “regulations” by at least one company in Broomfield, CO just last week. And, there are earthquakes in Colorado that are undeniably linked to the injection of waste products back into the earth.
Below is an expression of their heartfelt desires to live in rural Maryland some day. But, not until fracking is banned. Many thanks go to them for sharing their personal insights.
Their letter to Engage Mountain Maryland -
We are very sorry to report that we have put our plans to retire to the Frostburg area on hold until there is some resolution to the fracking issue.
We submit that there are two “community-busting” consequences of fracking that were overlooked in your full-page fracking feedback ad in The Republican. One is housing. One of the reasons we want to retire in Western Maryland is the affordable (compared to here) cost of “aging in place” housing. When/if frackers arrive on the scene, they and their families will need housing and will probably be able to pay top price for it. That will drive the prices of scarce homes and apartments up to the point where long-time residents will not be able to afford them.
Community-busting won’t stop there. Local construction companies will be enticed to “throw up” more fracking, industry-related housing fast and cheap. It won’t be long until those cheaply made “homes” are another visible blight on the community.
The other result of community fracking will be a rise in crime. Don’t take our word for it. Please seek statistics from law enforcement agencies in other states. Pre-fracking and post-fracking crime statistics should be telling in an objective way. More crime means larger law enforcement presence, more judicial salaries, and larger detention facilities which mean more taxes. Not to mention the devolving quality of life for long-time residents who will sometimes be victims of that increased crime.
We would also suggest that, if jobs are the main argument being put forth by wavering legislators for fracking, that the following is considered. Market Maryland as a Fracking-Free Haven for both tourists and potential residents.
We are quite sure that there are many others who share our values, public health concerns, and concern for the environment who would also be drawn to fracking-free areas to spend our retirement assets. More tourists and residents require more services, and therefore more opportunities for quality businesses.
Another point, our Maryland ancestors almost destroyed one of the most important natural resources in this country - The Chesapeake Bay. We would like to think that today's Marylanders learned their lessons from that ignorance-of-consequences and over-exploitation and have the collective public will and leadership to act at a higher level.
We cannot express how emotionally devastated we are to have to put our retirement plans on hold due to the unresolved fracking issue. If fracking is banned in Maryland, we’ll be on the next flight to continue our house-hunting with our Frostburg realtor. If not, we have to decide whether the risks are worth the benefits in our senior years.
True community means so much to us. We are anxious to “give back” and return to Cindy’s ancestral roots. If current “outsiders” count, please count us in as two potential residents AGAINST fracking for all the reasons you have listed in your advertisement, in addition to the ones above. Thank you so much for the incredibly important work you are doing. We hope to be able to join you with the community-building experience and talents we bring to the table.