Hydraulic Fracturing - Fracking Absurd
By now you have heard of "fracking" or hydraulic fracturing, but you might not know how bad this is for our environment and health. Here is a short description explaining the process and what fracking is.
Hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking, which rhymes with cracking) stimulates wells drilled into these formations, making profitable otherwise prohibitively expensive extraction. Within the past decade, the combination of hydraulic fracturing with horizontal drilling has opened up shale deposits across the country and brought large-scale natural gas drilling to new regions. - Read more at Earthworks
So what's the big deal? We now have access to oil and natural gas reserves that were previously unobtainable. On the surface this sounds like a good thing. Sadly we are not being told about all the dangerous chemicals used to extract this oil and natural gas.
To extract the oil and gas steel tubes are drilled into the well. Then fracking fluid is injected to the well to create pressure which cracks and fractures the ground. Once the cracks have been created the injections stop and fracking fluid flows back to the surface. On top of this, hydrochloric acid is pumped into the well to dissolve rock to allow the gas and oil to flow out easier. There are more than 300 toxic chemicals used in the fracking fluid. Over 70 of these chemicals cause 10 or more health effects if exposed to them. Some of the chemicals used are;
- Muriatic Acid
- Sulfur dioxide
- Tetramethyl Ammonium Chloride
- Sulfuric acid
To view a more extensive list of chemicals used and left in the ground visit Earthworks.
How does fracking effect me?
There is no way these companies would be drilling near our drinking water right? The EPA found in 2004 that the majority of facking wells are located dangerously close to underground sources of drinking water (USDWs).
Calculations performed by EPA in the draft version of its study show that at least nine hydraulic fracturing chemicals may be injected into or close to USDWs at concentrations that pose a threat to human health. The chart below is a reproduction of the data from the EPA draft study. As seen in the chart, chemicals may be injected at concentrations that are anywhere from 4 to almost 13,000 times the acceptable concentration in drinking water. - Source
These are just the short term consequences. Reports from the EPA suggest that 20 - 85% of the fracturing fluids remain in the formation. This means that the fluids and gels could continue to seep into the USDSs for years to come. For more information on water contamination visit Our Drinking Water At Risk.
Stop Dirty Mining & Drilling
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