SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Neighbors joined State Representative Cedric Glover in a forum to discuss health and safety concerns over hydraulic fracking in the Martin Luther King neighborhood.

The meeting took place on the Southern University’s Shreveport campus Thursday evening. Rep. Glover was joined by other city leaders as including councilwoman Tabatha Taylor & Caddo Parish School Board Vice President Jasmine Green. Glover said their goal was to inform, educate, and teach people to maximize their returns for the potential outcomes fracking can bring.

“Leasing your minerals, and putting people in a position that have access to information, and also to make them aware that there may be opportunity and potential for them to work collectively in an effort to address all of the issues that are in place when it comes to drilling for natural gas in an urban decently populated setting like this one,” he said.

Citizens in the MLK and Cooper Rd. community listened in on the conversation held by State Rep. Cedric Glover on fracking

Glover said the oil and gas industry has had an interest in Louisiana for the past 15 years. He explained how Louisiana’s economy has shifted from cotton to oil and gas over the 20th century.

Usually, the oil and gas industry would drill in rural parts of the parish but now they’re looking into our own backyards. This project would be drilling in the city of Shreveport, in residential areas.

“Shreveport and Caddo Parish, and in this case the MLK & Cooper road area, happens to be on the top of what apparently are very rich and potentially very profitable deposits of that shale,” Glover said. “To be informed, to be empowered, and to have the ability to be able to either individually, or collectively, decide to work together to figure out how it is that you manage to be able to effectively position yourself up against what we know in general are very powerful companies.”

Dr. Brian Salvator, a professor at LSU Shreveport, shared what he believes are some of the hidden chemicals involved in the process.

“Ethylene, Diseal fuel, Naphthalene, a lot of these things are percentages. Ethylbenzene, and go further down here, Benzene itself….If you took Benzene and you put a tablespoon and put it in a backyard swimming pool you could be at levels that cause cancer,” Dr. Salvator said.

“Do we have anybody going, any kind of representation, scientists, experts that are going down to Baton Rouge to let them know the dangers that affect us?” one woman asked during the meeting.

“That really scared me. It woke me up because we have schools, our elderly people. The kids be out playing and the danger this is going to cause for all of us,” Cora Savannah said after attending the meeting.

Another issue Glover wanted to avoid was a similar situation happening in DeSoto Parish. He says since their last meeting he has learned more about what may happen in the process. According to Glover, back in 2018, they experienced what appeared to be gas escaping upward from the ground and into the air…impacting nearby wells and waterways.

Glover shared they have reached out to the operating company since this issue has arrived; so far no response.

“We look forward to hopefully having some further dialog with them. But I think part of what has to happen on this side of the equation is for the community itself to figure out how to best position itself to advance and maximum its interest.”

Shreveport city council passed a resolution back in august … putting a six-month moratorium on drilling and fracking until a compromise could be reached.

The resolution ends in February 2022.

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