In recent years, the oil and gas industry has been boasting both job creation and a new found independence from foreign oil due to fracking. Their PR machine and wealthy lobbyists have been forcing the magical goodness of fracking down our throats.
Sounds great doesn’t it? Hooray for fracking! Right!?
The one thing they seem to consistently forget to mention is the very long list of human health and environmental consequences. Just google search news on fracking contamination. Here, we did it for you: News on fracking contamination. You can pretty much do that once a week and have more than enough new reading material to fill your evenings.
If you aren’t totally versed on what exactly fracking is, the video below can break it down for you pretty simply.
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Fracking is a way to access natural gas from shale rock deep within the earth (sometimes up to a mile deep). They can frack anywhere they want because the industry has paid off enough politicians to ease restrictions. The process and chemicals they use are shrouded in secrecy, so half the time the EPA doesn’t even know what to put restrictions on.
If they want to frack literally in your back yard, or smack dab in the middle of a delicate natural ecosystem…they will! Hell, if they could get the clearance to frack from the playroom at a preschool, you can damn well bet they would. As long as they are making money, they really don’t give a shit what happens to the landscape, water and humans that are in their wake.
They drill this hole deep into the earth where they pump millions of gallons of water laced with a very long list of poisonous and carcinogenic chemicals into the rock under high pressure to release the natural gas. There are over 600 known chemicals in this poisonous slurry, but there are many others that they have been able to keep secret. Now, keep in mind that due to climate change we are experiencing historic droughts. We can’t afford to have millions of gallons wasted to release this natural gas, and then have the remaining water contaminated.
Most of the toxic fracking fluid stays under ground were it seeps into the water table. Some is piped back up to the surface to be left to sit in open pits where they pollute the air with chemicals. It doesn’t take a more than 5 seconds of searching to find many cases of neighborhoods having their water so contaminated that the residents are able to light it on fire as it leaves the faucet. Health issues such as respiratory disorders, nervous system diseases, skin conditions and cancer are rapidly increasing in areas where fracking is taking place.
The methane that is released during the fracking process is 86 times more disruptive to our climate than carbon dioxide released from coal plants. Of course this is accelerating climate change and amplifying the global natural disasters such and droughts, ice cap melting, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and so on. It’s a really vicious cycle, and these assholes are actively making our world less habitable every day.
Oh, and one other thing…fracking is causing a terrifying increase in earthquakes. As they pressurize the rock deep within the earth, they are destabilizing the plates and causing frequent shifts. In Oklahoma, fracking is directly linked to an increase of earthquakes of 22,900%. No that is not a typo, and yes you read it correctly. You can read up on that HERE.
Bottom line, fracking is one of the worst ideas in the industrialized modern era. We are better than this. We have to do better. If fracking is allowed to continue, we are only screwing ourselves. We are poisoning the already diminishing supply of water we have, and poisoning ourselves with cancer causing chemicals. Our power as citizens is education and our collective action against the oil and gas industry.
Check out the documentary Gasland II. Its a look inside the devastating effects of fracking, and how the industry paying people to keep quiet.