KFU Communications Report, March

29 03 2012

By  Lauren Clary

March has been a busy month for me with Kansas Farmers Union activities and others. It started off with the Kansas Water Forum, then a few days later National Farmers Union Convention began in Omaha, Neb. The minute Convention was over Nick Levendofsky and I rushed to Topeka for our second KELP (Kansas Environmental Leadership Program) class. We barely got a week off before we held the Veteran Workshops, then got the Kontact out.

Now we get a whole two weeks to catch up and its off to Washington DC for Spring Fly-In. Scratch that, we’ll be in Manhattan April 10 for Secretary Vilsack’s speech at K-State for the Landon Lecture Series.

The Kansas Water Forum brought in several speakers to talk about Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing. Before Kansas Farmers Union Convention several counties had the opportunity to hear from the Sierra Club about this issue. They presented the con side and were very much against it. The Kansas Water Forum did the opposite. They brought in people that work in the industry (i.e. Shell), the Kansas Corporation Commission and others that presented the pro side and think this is a good thing for Kansas and will bring in revenue.

Between listening to these two opinions and some others in the KELP classes, my personal opinion is that the actual Fracturing process is safe and I’d be on the pro side. Although, what I’m very unsure about is the 300 million gallons of water that each gas well uses. Western Kansas is already running out of water. Do we really have the water to spare?

It seems everyone has their own opinion of it and I strongly suggest learning more about the subject. I’ve sat through several discussions and my husband works in the natural gas/propane industry and I still don’t understand it all.

National Farmers Union Convention was a jammed packed four days of great speakers and great networking. I attended all the sessions, sat in on Communications and Education meetings, listened to some of the policy sessions and volunteered during the Evening for Education banquet.

KELP is opening my eyes to the vast array of water issues in our state. The first session was in Hays, where they are dealing with contamination issues and cleaning the water that they have. The second session was in Topeka, where they are dealing with storm water/flooding and other issues that come with big cities (waste water). In May, we get to visit Wichita.

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