After public pressure and Congressional inquiries last spring, the Bureau of Land Management agreed to postpone the date for leasing parcels of land in Talladega National Forest for mining activities. Hydraulic fracturing — fracking — was raised as a possibility in areas deemed especially inappropriate by environmental groups and a number of area residents.
Fracking is a controversial mining process in which millions of gallons of water mixed with chemical agents are pumped into the ground under pressure to allow the extraction of petroleum and/or natural gas. In our part of the country, expectations are that natural gas might be present.
In Calhoun County, some of the parcels were in close proximity to a major watershed for the area. ...
Complaints to the office of Congressman Mike Rogers resulted in a delay of the lease sale for the parcels in Talladega National Forest.
The delay was a rare occurrence for the BLM, and lease sales for other areas went ahead as planned. An informational public meeting to be held by the BLM and the Forest Service is set for April 25. ...
Representatives from the BLM, the Forest Service and state agencies are supposed to be on hand to provide information and answer questions. That's a positive step.
The facts that the lease sale was delayed, and that a public meeting was scheduled show someone is listening. ...
The government needs to remember that federal lands belong to the people — not just to the politicians and agencies that manage them.
The people have a right to know how their land is used, and to express their opinions about how it is used.
Rarely does an Alabama governor get the opportunity Robert Bentley just took a pass on.
By signing a school voucher bill into law, Bentley placed Alabama on an uncertain path in how the state educates children. The shame — the crying shame, even — is that we didn't have to go this way. At the least, before signing it into law the governor could have demanded the Legislature address a host of deficiencies. ...
Will public and private schools be required to accept transfers under this law? How can parents be sure the private school is better than their old school?
What about districts where a federal court order restricts movement of students from one public school to the other? ...
Bentley and the rest of Montgomery's know-it-alls are forging ahead.
As usual, the rest of the state will be left to deal with this mess.
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