How Big Oil Affected Our Farm Project
A little over ten years ago we purchased a vacant piece of property in Scotts, Michigan. Our intentions were to work with the land and have it help us become more self reliant, healthy, and ultimately build a home there. Over the years we have turned it into a small farm where we grow most of our food, raise animals, and produce enough surplus to sell and put money back into the whole project. We have planted over a thousand trees, some of which have just started to produce fruit for us to use. We have established perennial herbs that we are now able to use every year. Being stewards of Mother Earth and learning as we go the project moves forward every year. A couple years ago, with the consent of neighboring property owners Wolverine Oil Company has seismic tested the area and is now drilling for oil around us. Within this time they have drilled and completed ten operating oil wells within a couple miles of our property. After seismic testing our neighboring land they now believe there is a void under our property that may contain oil. Over the past year we have refused many offers to lease our mineral rights to them. We have been to a hearing before the State of Michigan to explain how an oil well will take away the surface rights to use our property. Despite all of this, Wolverine has succeeded in statutory pooling our property with the neighboring properties. They plan to complete the drilling of an oil well approximately 400 feet from our property a few weeks from now. The oil well is expected to produce H2S (sour gas). H2S is a dangerous gas that can cause death, and is produced at all of the wells in our area. The oil well will include a flare burning 24 hours. The flare will be burning off known cancer causing carcinogens including benzenes, toluenes and xylenes along with methane and natural gas. Moving forward our hope is to again be able to secure a piece of property, away from oil wells, and start our project again. We are also in the process of compiling information about our experiences to make public and maybe help someone with big oil knocking on their door.