Pennsic Mayor responds to concerns about Cooper's Lake hydraulic fracturing contract

The owners of Cooper's Lake Campground, site of the SCA's Pennsic War, have signed a mineral rights contract that allows hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") on the property at some future time. The contract has led to concerns from some Pennsic attendees, and a blog post by this year's Pennsic Mayor responding to those concerns.

According to Lord Manuel de la Rosa y Botella de Miérkoles, Mayor of Pennsic 41, "There is indeed an agreement for future Fracking rights at Cooper’s Lake in the area where the old woods battle used to be." The Mayor's article (linked below) acknowledges concerns but counsels a measured and thoughtful consideration by attendees, advising people to educate themselves about the issues at hand and make an informed decision about attending in future years, if and when actual drilling commences on site. The Mayor's article stresses that "[n]o drilling at all has begun at Cooper’s Lake, nor will there be before this year’s event."

Hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") is a controversial method of extracting petroleum and natural gas from rock formations by injecting natural or man-made fluids at extremely high pressure. People have reported contamination of wells, gases escaping into the air, and concerns about the proprietary chemicals that are injected without their ingredients being publicly disclosed. Petroleum companies maintain that this process is safe because it is so deep underground and because precautions are taken against groundwater contamination, while environmentalists argue that there are too many unknowns and too little oversight by regulatory agencies.

Mayor Manuel says the concerns of attendees are being taken seriously: "I know as an attendee I’ll be interested in what testing has been done and what the results are for water and air quality once drilling has begun and before I next attend.  As an administrator for Pennsic I’m interested in the same information to make sure we aren’t in any way endangering those who attend.  But I think it’s premature to speculate about the future."

The full text of Mayor Manuel's blog post about this issue is linked below, as is a background article on hydraulic fracturing and an editorial from a Pennsic attendee expressing concern about the prospect of fracking at Cooper's Lake.

As a note to our readers, doesn't intend to become a focal point for debating modern-world political issues. As the Mayor has pointed out, there is ample time for everyone to educate themselves about the issues and participate in a well-reasoned discussion of the matters at hand, and we urge our readers to do so in venues that are more appropriate to modern-world issues.