Across the U.S., people are rising up against “fracking” for natural gas. A deadly threat to our home is looming on the horizon. It is a new technique of gas/oil extraction. It is known by various names, for example:
Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing
High Volume Hydro-fracturing (HVHF)
Deep Shale Hydrofracking
The oil and gas industry says it isn’t new. The industry says it is safe. The industry is lying. The vertical gas wells that dot our area are a completely different technology. The new technique of deep horizontal fracking destroys drinking water supplies, and will continue to do so for possibly hundreds of years, as the well casings inevitably fail and disposal sites inevitably leak.
As the Insider Exclusive Investigative TV Series goes into Production to film a new documentary, “FRACKING – Dangerous Contamination”, injection wells in Ohio are receiving millions of gallons of toxic waste fluids (“frack water” or “produced water”) from fracking operations in nearby states. Pennsylvania has banned the storage of waste from fracking operations in that state. Ohio Governor Kasich has opened the doors to such dumping in our state, turning our state into a toxic waste dump. Ohio injection wells are not rated for hazardous waste storage.
In any area where fracking operations have happened, the local people have been outraged by the catastrophic damage to land, water supplies, air quality, animal and human health. Local economies have been destroyed. Property values have fallen drastically, up to 90%.
It is imperative for each of us to educate ourselves about this disastrous technology. By understanding the magnitude of the threat, we can protect future generations.
What is “fracking”, Should it be banned, and how does it differ from traditional gas exploration and drilling?
Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing. It’s an extremely water-intensive process where millions of gallons of fluid – typically a mix of water, sand, and chemicals, including ones known to cause cancer – are injected underground at high pressure to fracture the rock surrounding an oil or gas well. This fracking releases extra oil and/or gas from the rock, so it can flow into the well.
But the process of fracking introduces additional industrial activity into communities beyond the well. Clearing land to build new access roads and new well sites, drilling and encasing the well, fracking the well and generating the waste, trucking in heavy equipment and materials and trucking out the vast amounts of toxic waste — all of these steps contribute to air and water pollution risks and devaluation of land that is turning our communities into sacrifice zones. Fracking threatens the air we breathe, the water we drink, the communities we love and the climate on which we all depend. That’s why over 250 communities in the U.S. have passed resolutions to stop fracking, and why Vermont, France and Bulgaria have stopped it.
Why a Ban? Can’t Better Regulations Make Fracking Safer?
No. Fracking is inherently unsafe and we cannot rely on regulation to protect communities’ water, air and public health. The industry enjoys exemptions from key federal legislation protecting our air and water, thanks to aggressive lobbying and cozy relationships with our federal decision makers (the exemption from the Safe Drinking Water Act is often referred to as the Cheney or Halliburton Loophole, because it was negotiated by then-Vice President Dick Cheney with Congress in 2005.)
Plus, the industry is aggressively clamping down on local and state efforts to regulate fracking by buying influence and even bringing lawsuits to stop them from being implemented. That’s why fracking can’t be made safer through government oversight or regulations. An all-out ban on fracking is the only way to protect our communities
Have there been cases of serious water and air contamination from fracking operations?
In a first, federal environment officials scientifically linked underground water pollution with hydraulic fracturing, concluding that contaminants found in central Wyoming were likely caused by the gas drilling process.
The findings by the Environmental Protection Agency come partway through a separate national study by the agency to determine whether fracking presents a risk to water resources.
In the report released by the EPA said that pollution from 33 abandoned oil and gas waste pits – which are the subject of a separate cleanup program – are indeed responsible for some degree of shallow groundwater pollution in the area. Those pits may be the source of contamination affecting at least 42 private water wells in Pavillion. But the pits could not be blamed for contamination detected in the water monitoring wells 1,000 feet underground.
That contamination, the agency concluded, had to have been caused by fracking.
U.S. energy independence? Will the natural gas from fracking remain in the U.S. or will it be shipped to China, India and other countries?
Drilling companies rapidly expanding their U.S. operations in places such as Pennsylvania’s vast Marcellus Shale formation repeatedly tout they are providing American jobs and securing the nation’s energy future. Yet, several investigations have found foreign companies are buying significant shares of these drilling projects and making plans for facilities to liquefy and ship more of that natural gas overseas.
A leading player in the natural gas grab is China, whose thirst for energy to fuel its industrial explosion is growing rapidly. Others include the governments of South Korea and India, and companies in Great Britain, the Netherlands, Norway, Japan and Australia.
“They’re going to come in, extract all this stuff for next-to-nothing, and make global profits off it,” “This is beads for Manhattan, in a global sense.”
Why do so many people think fracking must be banned?
Report for European Commission on Environment -“Because of the health and environmental risks, the study recommends that fracking should only be allowed under strict conditions, and not yet on an industrial scale. No fracking should be allowed in areas where water is being used for drinking purposes.”
There is scientific proof that hydraulic fracturing regularly contaminates drinking water supplies. This occurs for groundwater and aquifers, and with fracturing fluid and hydrocarbons.
Other effects of hydraulic fracturing are too numerous to list. Case studies indicate that hydraulic fracturing is detrimental to communities in innumerable ways.
Industry arguments are exaggerated or false, most notably, inflated estimates of job creation.
Hydraulic fracturing is exempt from at least seven major environmental laws, and dozens more at the federal Lobbyists at the state and federal levels maintain loopholes and exemptions.
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