So we have been talking a lot about fracking around here and we realized that we never actually talked about what exactly fracking is! Up until a few months ago, we didn’t know much about fracking either. In fact a few of us had NEVER even heard of it before. We encourage you to read on to educate yourself and visit some of the resources listed to take action.
What is Fracking?
Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is a method of natural gas extraction. It involves drilling deep into shale deposits, which are between 2,000 to 10,000 feet down within the earth. Then millions of gallons of water, mixed with sand and hundreds of toxic chemicals, are blasted underground at high pressure to break apart the rock, releasing tiny pockets of methane (natural gas).
Why can fracking be bad?
Fracking can be dangerous to the environment and our health for a number of reasons. The largest concern may be water contamination. Fracking includes drilling down through the Aquafier, which is where our groundwater is derived. The drills could potentially leak or even explode, releasing toxic chemicals into our precious water source. More than 650 of the chemicals used for fracking are known carcinogens and endocrine disrupters. Once they are introduced to the Aquafier, most will stay there forever. The wastewater that is produced from fracking contains high levels of radiation as the shale itself is naturally radioactive. And this radioactive wastewater is often either left to evaporate or dumped into streams.
Unfortunately, the environmental ramifications of fracking do not stop there. Fracking also contributes to air pollution. Some of the pollutants released into the air during the process include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), sulfur dioxide, methane gas and so on. The result is a toxic smog that in addition to providing an increased cancer risk, is also increases the risk of respiratory disease and illness, such as asthma. There are communities in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming that have ozone levels as high as Los Angeles which is believed to be the result of fracking.
Are you horrified yet, because we sure are! Fracking is currently happening in 34 states across our country and has been banned in only one – Vermont. New York is currently in a fracking battle as Governor Andrew M. Cuomo considers allowing fracking in the Southern Tier of the state. We need to tell him, and the rest of the country and world, that fracking is not OK and it needs to stop.
Get informed. Get active.