Get cracking on Fracking Says Dave, Nick, Nige, Ed and the boys!
In the USA fracking has been carried out for about 20 years with holes being drilled willy-nilly. A Californian senator who was keen to let parts of his land be used for drilling is now belly-aching to congress that he wants tax payers money to repair and clean up his land. A lot of fracking companies go bust or into liquidation as the wells dry up quickly and they just move on to drill another hole, there is no recourse, they will just take the money and leave the mess behind.
Hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’, is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside and this is why the UK and Europe must not allow this deliberate earth destruction! In the USA these companies are not regulated, make no mistake, it’s all hype about the jobs with the profits going to the government and drilling companies, plus our energy bills will not be reduced.
Fracking uses a toxic chemical cocktail known as fracking fluid. The companies who use this fluid have resisted disclosing the contents of its fluid, claiming the information is proprietary. However, samples from well sites have indicated that the fluid they use contains up to 600 chemicals including known carcinogens and toxins such as lead, uranium, mercury, ethylene glycol, radium, methanol, hydrochloric acid and formalde, among hundreds of other contaminants. It has recently come to light that, despite the illegality of the action,
companies have been caught using diesel fuel in the fracking fluid also. The fracking fluid is pressure injected into the ground through a drilled pipeline. During this process, methane gas and toxic chemicals leach out from the system and contaminate nearby groundwater.
Methane concentrations are 17 times higher in drinking-water wells near fracturing sites than in normal wells. Plus methane gas is one of the most toxic greenhouse gasses. Now that can't be good for us! Long term health complications are not known and may be difficult to prove but those living near the sites have had symptoms ranging from memory loss, nausea, skin irritations as well as cases of sensory, respiratory, and neurological damage due to ingested contaminated water, it's not just the drinking water it's in the air too, which affects animals also.
Fracking removes millions of gallons of precious freshwater from the water cycle. Each well uses between two and five million gallons of locally-sourced freshwater, which will be permanently contaminated. About half of this water returns to the surface, where it is stored in steel containers until it can be injected deep underground into oil and gas waste wells. No one is entirely sure what happens to the other half of the water used in the process. The best guess is that the water remains underground and is not biodegradable. It will be there forever, and some of this toxic cocktail makes its way back into our water supply. The waste fluid is left in open air pits to evaporate, releasing harmful VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) into the atmosphere, creating contaminated air, acid rain, and ground level ozone.
Fracking causes a range of environmental problems, in the USA at least eight states have reported surface, ground, and drinking water contamination due to fracking. In Pennsylvania, over 1,400 environmental violations have been attributed to deep gas wells utilising fracking practices. Pollution from truck traffic, chemical contamination around storage tanks, and habitat fragmentation and damage from drilling to environmentally sensitive areas have are all related to fracking. In the end, hydraulic fracking produces approximately 300,000 barrels of natural gas a day, but at the price of numerous environmental, safety, and health hazards.