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Jackson County Oil Boom Pits Economics, Environment

Michigan has made huge investments to develop alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass.  But like the rest of the country, Michigan is still a primarily fossil fuel-driven economy.  Crude oil is big business in Michigan, especially in Jackson County.  In 2012, more than 1.2 million barrels were produced there, which is three times more than any other county.

Oil drilling also extracts a brine that’s mixed in with the petroleum.  Right now, that saltwater waste product is shipped out of the drilling area by truck.  But one leading oil producer is asking the EPA for permission to bury the brine on site.  That idea has many local residents concerned about the potential environmental effects on their community. Current State’s Kevin Lavery reports.

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