Fracking, Friend Or Foe?

Fracking, What Is That?

Fracking is becoming a huge topic with many groups of people.  Many claim that it can save us from peak oil, but others claim its no solution at all.  If you are unaware of what fracking is in the first place here is a few videos to get you started.

Ok, But The “Water On Fire” And Contamination Leaks Are Rare, Right?

Fracking fluid can contain  600 or more chemicals  including lead, uranium, mercury, ethylene glycol, radium, hydrochloric acid, benzine, formaldehyde and many others. Furthermore, many  of these chemical have been link to cancer or are considered carcinogens.  Although a percentage of these chemicals are recovered from the water, large quantities may be left behind in underground springs or wells. Because many of these chemicals are not biodegradable, it poses a difficult long term problem of how to get rid of them, or clean them up.  Chemicals such as Methane and Benzine are often left behind in the ground water and can actually make  drinking water flammable.

Sherry Vargso’s Flaming Water

Cases of flaming water have been reported in Dimock, Pa, Jackson County, W.Va., Sublette County, Wyoming, Parsons, Tn,  and many more. This is not including international cases of contaminated and flaming water that have popped up all around the world (where fracking is in operation).

Huge Fracking Fluid Spill

Fracking Blow Out And Leak

Ohio Fracking Spill

How did this being, and who’s making the fracking profit?

In the late 1940s,  Floyd Farris; J.B. Clark (Stanolind Oil and Gas Corporation) invented the first fracking operation.  Oil and gas drilling companies began fracking rock by pumping pressurized water into it. Drilling horizontal wells that extend from their vertical well shafts along thin, horizontal shale layers. By doing this the natural gas is released and harvested to be use for many purposes. In 1949, George Phydias Mitchell (Mitchell Energy & Development Corp) was the first to successful apply hydraulic fracturing; which over time would develop into a fortune 500 company and eventually gain him billions in profit.

Halliburton, a oilfield service and equipment company is also a fracking superstar. Halliburton’s net worth is over 20 billion dollars, and they have recently been a caught on more then one controversy. One of the largest developed in the bush administration, called the Energy Policy Act of 2005  Aka ‘Halliburton loophole’.  This loophole stripped the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of its authority to regulate fracking. Dick Cheney, former U.S Vice president ( under the Bush Administration), was also the chairman and CEO of Halliburton Company from 1995 to 2000. After he left Halliburton to take office he received a large severance pay and stocks options. Action to overturn this loophole were originally proposed on Mar 15, 2011, now reissued on Jun 11, the FRAC Act (Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness to Chemical Act). The FRAC Act,  is a House bill intended to repeal the Halliburton Loophole and to require the natural gas industry to disclose the chemicals they use. Before this bill was proposed company had little to no responsibility to properly dispose of contaminated fracking water.

Wastewater disposal is among the biggest challenges of fracking. Once the water is contaminated it becomes very hard and very expencive to clean it up. Many illnesses such as anemia and leukemia have been reported from chemicals, such as the one’s found in fracking fluid. In the future there will surely be more instances of sickness and death in regards to fracking.

 

But What About The Economy And All The Money Fracking Brings?

I’m not suggesting that fracking is inherently evil, nor am I stating that it cannot be improved. Furthermore, I have  mainly focused on the detrimental effect of fracking, and did not concentrate on the positive implications and results of fracking. This is because I stand by Natures health over the economies health. Although fracking may bring a temporary boost to our western life style,  what cost will we pay in years to come? How do you put a price on clean water, air and land? We do not calculate the price that pollution will incur in the future. Variables such as cancer, sickness, climate change, property value decreases and death to wildlife and humans.  All of these factors also effect our economy, and way of life.

 

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Sources

Forbe’s

Danger’s of fracking

QZ.com

Washington Post

Newyorktimes

The Halliburton Loophole

Propublica.org

cartss.colorado.edu

Whats on your mind?