With environmentally concerns front and center these days, fracking is the wrong direction for Tennessee to go. As a Tennessean, I would hope the University of Tennessee would lead the way in research for safe alternative energy options. Instead it is be poised to open up a research program to study the effects of fracking in our beloved Cumberland Forest, which happens to be one of the most diverse biosphere in the world. Studies will not ease the controversy around this. An earlier report in the Tennessean exposes insiders E-mails that tell us UT has every indention to make money off this, and via these emails we find it was said in Oct 2012 that Gov. Haslem will be supportive. Perhaps this explains the quick and brief public comment window that just opened and closed before most Tennessean knew what was happening. Gov. Bredesen stopped an earlier deal UT had in 2009 because of environmental concerns. Steering our energy needs towards healthy alternatives is the first and foremost opportunity we have to not only be fruitful, but wise. Fossil fuels should be left with the dinosaurs, its time to move forward and I plead with UT and Gov. Haslem to waste no more time on this.
Ita Hardesty Mason