My memoir, Gas Drilling and the Fracking of a Marriage (Coffeetown Press, October 15, 2011), began as diary entries and e-mails, and as a way to learn the facts about gas drilling and untangle my feelings about the difficult ethical decision I was facing. I was offered a large sum of money that would be paid at the expense of the local environment and potentially by the health of the community, and while I initially refused to allow natural gas drilling on my land, I soon learned that my sacrifice might not protect either. As I researched the impacts and consulted other landowners, I discovered that they, too, had initially said no, but then ‘reconsidered, since all the neighbors were signing gas leases.’ It was a relief to learn that I was not alone in my dilemma.
But also, I simply felt compelled to write this story, and quickly, too, because it could be lost in light of new information that is now becoming available. In hindsight, with facts spreading on a lighted table, decisions are easy and blame falls on those who don’t foresee outcomes. It’s not so easy to make wise choices when one is grappling with them.
I invite you to share your experiences about this issue and why you came to your own decisions, whatever they may be.