Activists warn residents over proposed oil extraction - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Activists warn residents over proposed oil extraction

Posted: Updated:
Oil embedded within Hartselle Sandstone is of high priority for developers. Oil embedded within Hartselle Sandstone is of high priority for developers.
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Huntsville woman stabbed with kitchen knife, police say

    Huntsville woman stabbed with kitchen knife, police say

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 7:30 AM EDT2014-09-17 11:30:38 GMT
    A Huntsville woman was stabbed in the leg with a kitchen knife. (Source: MGNOnline)A Huntsville woman was stabbed in the leg with a kitchen knife. (Source: MGNOnline)
    Huntsville Police Department responded to a Domestic Violence call on the 100 block of Mason Court at approximately 12:10 a.m.More >>
    Huntsville Police Department responded to a Domestic Violence call on the 100 block of Mason Court at approximately 12:10 a.m.More >>
  • Police: Woman screams at intruder

    Police: Woman screams at intruder

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 7:16 AM EDT2014-09-17 11:16:10 GMT
    A Huntsville woman woke up to find an unknown male in her home. (Source: MGNOnline)A Huntsville woman woke up to find an unknown male in her home. (Source: MGNOnline)
    The Huntsville Police Department responded to a robbery call in the 3500 block of Nathalee Avenue at approximately 1:00 a.m. Wednesday.More >>
    The Huntsville Police Department responded to a robbery call in the 3500 block of Nathalee Avenue at approximately 1:00 a.m. Wednesday.More >>
  • Breaking

    Hit and run suspect free on bond

    Hit and run suspect free on bond

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 6:48 AM EDT2014-09-17 10:48:35 GMT
    Police monitored activity around this SUV Monday. (Source: WAFF)Police monitored activity around this SUV Monday. (Source: WAFF)
    The woman accused in a deadly hit and run Sunday night is now free on bond.Madison County jail officials confirm 31 year old LaTonya Haley was released on $15,000 bond just before 10:30 Tuesday night.More >>
    The woman accused in a deadly hit and run Sunday night is now free on bond.Madison County jail officials confirm 31 year old LaTonya Haley was released on $15,000 bond just before 10:30 Tuesday night.More >>
TOWN CREEK, AL (WAFF) -

The debate over turning Alabama into a major oil-producing state continued in the Shoals Tuesday night, where developers hope to dig for oil in some northwestern counties' sandstone deposits. Some activists are raising the alarm to people who live there.

A full house of area residents turned out at Hatton Elementary School to hear warnings about plans to develop Northwest Alabama's vast oil reserves. After years of research, developers said some 20-billion barrels could be underneath the ground in the state.

M-S Industries has bought some 2,500 acres in Lawrence, Franklin and Colbert Counties to dig for oil-soaked Hartselle Sandstone.

"Tar-sands is a very dirty fuel and the extraction of tar sands is one of the dirtiest industries in the world," said meeting organizer Janice Barrett. Area activists point to Canada's tar sands oil industry and predict an environmental nightmare of contaminated groundwater, devastated landscape, and heavy trucks clogging area roads.

"This company is intending to strip-mine for tar sands in these counties," said Charles Rose of the Shoals Environmental Alliance.

M-S CEO Steven Smith disagrees, calling the group's warnings "uninformed" due to bad information. He said what he'll be digging for is not simply tar sands, but that his company would also haul solid rock sandstone out of the ground to be processed elsewhere, using its own technologies, devised to be environmentally friendly.

Smith stressed that the operation would bring over 1,000 jobs to the area within 18 to 24 months.

Activists said the area may indeed need an economic lift, but that this isn't it. "This is a dirty, destructive industry, and we're afraid it will preclude another, cleaner, more desirable, more sustainable industry coming into our county. We have tourism here that could be developed," suggested Barrett.

Activist groups are asking locals to contact their state and local lawmakers, and to say "no" if someone comes to buy their land. Smith said regulations now being formulated in the State Oil & Gas Board will ensure that oil can be extracted economically, safely, and cleanly.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved. 

Powered by WorldNow

1414 North Memorial Parkway
Huntsville, AL 35801
256-533-4848

WAFF Is a Proud Member
of the Raycom Family of Stations


FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WAFF. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.