There have been countless articles in the newspaper, many discussions on local talk radio, and websites have carried much information when it comes to news about hydraulic fracturing. I know it's all very confusing, especially as this topic has come to the forefront recently due to new technology affecting the Utica and Marcellus shale formations.
There is so much information flying around, I know it's hard to figure out what to believe or trust. We here at the newspaper are attempting to do our best to provide the most accurate information possible.
Depending on which expert is talking, the developments will bring a varying number of jobs to the area. A recent study said 65,000 jobs and about $4.9 billion for the state's economy by 2014. Other estimates have said 200,000 jobs.
Then there are the other issues: earthquakes allegedly caused by an injection well; claims of contaminated well water; rural landowners' lease agreements. Worries about damage to highways from more truck activity. Environmental issues.
We know what the experts have to say. I would like to know what you have to say. What is your opinion about the hydraulic fracturing issue and how it affects the area? How do you think it will change the area, if at all, in the next five, 10, 20 years or more?
Take a little time to share your opinion. It's not too hard to do. You can submit a letter to the editor by the original U.S. Postal Service, via our virtual newsroom on our website in the letters to the editor category, or by email (in the subject line, type the word ''fracking'') at email@example.com.
Or, if you are not already signed up, create a free membership account on our website, tribtoday.com. Just go to our website and click the ''create an account'' line at the top right side of the web page. (The type is kind of small, depending on your monitor.) By becoming a member, you can voice your opinions anonymously by clicking on the ''post a comment'' button at the bottom of this column posted on our website under the news / columns category.
I'm interested to know what the ''quiet'' readers have to say. I especially want to hear from people who don't usually write a letter to the editor or comment on our stories. I'll review them and follow up with the results in a future column. When you submit your opinion, I prefer you give me a little background information about yourself such as your name, community, age, etc. I don't plan to use that information, but it offers perspective.
I know there are a lot of opinions and ideas out there on this topic. It will be interesting to find out more about what the residents of the area have to say about all these developments. It's not a poll. It's not some kind of scientific study. It's just a simple request for your opinions on this controversial topic. I have heard what the ''experts'' have to say. Now it's your turn.
Robinson is editor of the Tribune Chronicle. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.