{news & views} what the frack?

Fracking. It bears an uncanny resemblance to a popular curse word, doesn”t it? With reason.
Fracking is the process of using fluid pressure to crack the bedrock which makes up the earth”s core in the hope of releasing natural gas or oil. While that may sound perfectly innocent to some people, those living with the results of the process have a different story to tell.
While “hydraulic” may suggest water, the truth is that the fluid injected into the ground (and our groundwater) is usually made up of a cocktail of unknown chemicals. The recipe for the process is protected under the moniker of “trade secret”. Recently into some local streams, causing a small evacuation. Preliminary reports are inconclusive about any damage to the ecosystem, but it”s hard to imagine there will be no effect.
In towns where this process is taking place, people are reporting that they are able to set their tap water on fire. This is attributed to high levels of methane from the fracking wells. CNN reports on the phenomenon, as seen in this clip:

Corporate interests and the media who kowtow to them would like us to believe that Fracking is perfectly natural. They point out that methane is not even something the EPA regulates in drinking water, so clearly there is nothing to worry about. However, the evidence being gathered from towns near the drilling sites is telling another story. Would YOU drink flammable water?
Some people have even tried to greenwash the process, claiming it is a safe alternative to drilling for oil. Please do not fall for the doublespeak. Fracking is creating untold and unknown issues that may have devastating effects on our water supply for years to come. If you would like to know more, please check out the movie Gaslands, watchable on Netflix, or available on dvd here.

You can also sign the petition against fracking here.

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  1. Muddy Footprint says:

    I came across your blog by accident tonight and was browsing through the pages because I loved it. Then I came across this article and it hit home. Literally. I am in the area where this is taking place. I live less than 30 miles of this contamination site. I currently have a few wells less than two miles from my property. I have not seen Gasland so I cannot credit or discredit it. I can tell you one thing, people are falling seriously sick in fast numbers. Losing hair, developing cancer, gastro problems. Their water was tested fine before the drilling and now it’s unsafe. They are ignoring homeowners previous water testing. For some reason these previous tests are not upholding in court. It’s not uncommon to see water buffalo’s hooked up to peoples houses or venting systems to vent out methane and arsenic developing in peoples homes. The sad thing is there’s not much being done because these drilling companies are investing so much money in the community (especially politicians campaign funds) that they are ignoring the problem so to speak. It’s created a lot of revenue for the area and jobs. I fear they are preying on the weak and uneducated. I’m glad to see this getting out this far and people becoming aware. They plan on drilling a good portion of the US. There are other ways they can extract this natural gas but this type of fracturing is faster and cheapest for them. If I could pass on a website, if that’s okay…www.wellwatch.org if you’re interested in posts from people affected by the drilling with complaints that aren’t being heard. It’s too late for us but if you hear of them coming to your area, please spread the word. I’ve had to hold my 8 month old and 2 year old nephews who was severely sick from Barium poisoning, the whole family was. That was almost a year ago and they’re still seeing toxicologists and after tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and medical bills, nothing has been done for them. Sad thing is they are better off than most of the other cases.

    • Thank you for your comment. I am so sorry to hear what you are going through, but thank you so much for sharing your story. I will check out that site. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  2. Another interesting article on the subject: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/06/ny-times-natural-gas.php

    Fracking companies exposed for overselling profit estimates and lying about risks.

  3. Viktorija says:

    A review of ANY 5th grade science book will reveal that the drilling & fracking takes place in the crust or upper mantle, NOT the core – which is the center of the earth. Most people who proclaim themselves “green” have a very weak knowledge of the physical sciences, yet they like to expound upon issues that would require a THOROUGH knowledge of the physical sciences to fully comprehend the subject.

    Also, flammable drinking water was a phenomenon in oil-rich areas LONG before drilling for oil was ever invented. In other words, its completely natural and nothing new!

    Petroleum solvents are sometimes used in fracking shale for oil production, but they are compounds already found in oil. To find out what is in the compound used to release the natural gas from the shale go to http://marcellusdrilling.com/2010/06/list-of-78-chemicals-used-in-hydraulic-fracturing-fluid-in-pennsylvania/ So, its NOT a big secret!

    • Viktorija,
      Thanks for the link. Of the 8 comments on the article of that link, only 1 was defending the writer and the others are saying how UNSAFE fracking is. And by the fact that the article was written by the gas drilling company, of course, it will say how safe the process it is. You should do due diligence and see who’s funding those articles before you believe what IT says.

      Also, this post on fracking is not saying it’s un-natural. it’s saying that even if it’s natural, it’s dangerous.

      And your statement that “flammable drinking water was a phenomenon in oil-rich areas LONG before drilling for oil was ever invented. In other words, its completely natural and nothing new!” is supposed to make me feel safe because it’s “natural and nothing new!”? Would you feel safe drinking flammable drinking water just because it’s been around for ages and it’s ‘natural’?

      I don’t get your persistent comparison to oil. Don’t you know that, as you put it, “green” people are against petroleum and oil drilling, no matter how “natural” it is or how long we’ve been drilling?

      Before you bash this writer and criticize the article by implying that she didn’t do her research, maybe you should think a little more before comparing it to another factor that just proves her point! Oh, and maybe you should watch the movie and the CNN clip. And talk to those people who can’t drink their tap water because of the chemical smell.

  4. It is. I have a friend in New Zealand who is desperately trying to get her neighbors to fight this in her area, but the big corporations are flat out lying about the effects and are promising money to farmers if they can put the wells on their land. Farmers are hurting because of the drought and so they’re doing it to keep out of foreclosure, even if they know it’s ultimately going to hurt everyone down the road.

  5. This is scary! :(

  6. thank you!

  7. Freaky! Thanks for the explanation. Loved your drawing – big help to a visual learner!