Fracking Hits Amish: Fears Rise That Excess Wealth Will Destroy Community

While many are concerned about the environmental hazards of fracking, the Amish are facing a different sort of temptation. While some of the community is open to the idea of tapping God's natural resources, others fear that oil money will cause a wealth imbalance and disrupt the community.

Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," is a process used to fracture rocks and obtain the oil within. But environmentalists have frowned on the process because it requires an excess amount of water and hazardous chemicals. A number of groups have dedicated themselves to stopping fracking in their areas.

The Amish however, have a different point of view.

Historian Donald B. Kraybill said that some Amish accept drilling partly because they ''have a strong sense of God's creation,'' and that includes oil and natural gas.

''If they can find ways to capitalize on the resources under the ground, they don't see a problem with that,'' he told the Boston Globe.

But oil can mean large amounts of profit, and that appears to be a set back for some Amish community members who fear that mass wealth will disrupt the community.

''The inflow of all the money is going to really expose the spiritual level of the community,'' Jerry Schlabach, an Amish resident of Berlin, Ohio said in an interview with the Globe. ''Amish are no different than anybody else. The power of big money can bring spiritual corruption."

But money could be useful for many farmer's in the community who stand to profit financially from fracking. In light of that, Schlabach hopes that the farmers who do profit will share their wealth.

''Use it to help others rather than consuming it on yourself,'' he said. ''Life doesn't consist of your possessions. Possessions are nothing, and it is what you do for other people that lasts.''