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Tuesday September 30, 2014
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Oil in Scio?

 

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"That's where they'll go," she says. "Oil derricks with methane flares on the top and pumps and storage tanks--and all at the western entrance to Ann Arbor."

The former banking consultant takes out an area map and measures the distances. "The wells will be about one mile from the Huron River and within two miles of the high-density developments of Loch Alpine and the Preserve, the Glades, and Walnut Ridge and many millionaires' houses."

Moore and her husband live a mile down West Delhi from Miller on a bluff overlooking the Huron, but she's not the only person opposed to oil exploration. Since West Bay Exploration filed a permit application with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in May to drill a 4,800-foot test well, groups have sprung up under the names No Drill Scio, Citizens for Oil Free Backyards, and Grandmas Opposing Oil Drilling in Scio.

West Bay doesn't buy property outright--they lease the mineral rights from the owners. And though nearly 200 Scio residents have signed an online petition promising not to lease their property, "Mr. [Kevin] Wing owns most of the area around here," Moore says. "He owns the farm across the street and the farm on West Delhi and Miller. He owns the fields on Miller and Zeeb and he owns land on Dexter-Ann Arbor Rd. He owns the pumpkin patch on the corner of Zeeb--and he's eager to sell the mineral rights."

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