Fracking Water Contamination – Stating the Obvious

For years citizens presented increasingly overwhelming evidence that hydraulic fracturing used in gas and oil drilling is tainting drinking water. Buying off plaintiffs and closing off evidence the fossil industry has somehow managed to create the impression that there is no proven link between chemically poisoned and sometimes inflammable drinking water close to fracking operations and injecting huge amounts of undeclared chemicals into the soil. Not any longer. In an overdue report, the US environmental protection agency (EPA) has now officially declared that fracking is linked to tainted water in Wyoming.

ON-green-policy. It is hard to understand that available crystal clear indication of widespread and serious health risks for tenths- if not hundreds of thousands of Americans, even in the absence of absolute proof, didn’t trigger more rigorous regulation and research from responsible environmental agencies and from politicians. If a hurricane is heading your way, you don’t wait for absolute proof that it will destroy your house, before you try to secure it. And you would certainly not accept that somebody withholds information on its trajectory! How come, lawmakers don’t even want to know about the chemicals pumped into the ground? To whom are they more accountable, to the business interests of the gas industry or to the wellbeing of Americans?

Compare this dull reaction to their frenzy activity and overbearing suspicion in the case of terrorism or drugs. Without even trying to establish an importance ranking, it just feels as priorities of US representatives are not quiet reasonably set. Sure, there is more money to be made with gas fracking but is it really wise to let this criteria determine, where politicians take actions or not? Anyway, it’s in the citizens’ hands to elect officials that are financially independent and take appropriate action against the risks of fracking.

Source: New York times

3 Responses to Fracking Water Contamination – Stating the Obvious
  1. Derek Bates
    January 5, 2012 | 1:14 pm

    Fracking is a very emotive issue. Tne major driving force for society is that our thirst for energy means that we do not have a sustainable future. Fossil fuels supply everythign from driving our cars, heating our homes, feeding an educating us. More effort needs to be invested in alternative energy but at the current rate of progress masses of people will starve before we have a source to replace fossil fuels.

    Admittedly, shale gas adds CO2 to the atmosphere but it is a source of energy which can feed the world. It is a difficult decision but if we are faced with freezing to death or dying from starvation or thirst for ourselves and our children which is the future that faces us (James Lovelock says the world will be only able to support 1 billion people at the end of the century) the decision becomes clearer.

    If it is to go ahead on this basis, fracking needs to be made safer.

    Derek Bates.

    • admin
      January 8, 2012 | 3:48 pm

      Dear Derek

      Thank for your comment. While I agree with some of your remarks, it seems to me, that your stated necessity to turn to shale gas only holds true if we assume a steady rising energy consumption.
      However, I’m optimistic that it not only possible but even economically advantageous to develop a more energy-efficient way of living. Saving the energy that shale gas could provide would save us money in the long-term (because the price of fossil energy will rise in the future, whereas the cost of green energy will only come down), create much more jobs than the gas industry could provide and yields of course important environmental benefits.
      On another line, even shale gas will most probably not be able to supply enough energy for Chinese and Indians if they follow our unsustainable and energy-wasting development model. Therefore, I am persuaded that we are far better off creating jobs in the UK, investing in energy-efficient technology right now, and sell it to the rest of world.

      Cheers, Aurel

  2. Derek Bates
    January 10, 2012 | 10:09 am

    It would be nice to think that mankind could reduce energy requirements. Undoubtedly we will when the price of oil gets to be unaffordable. On present trends, if all nations want to live at the USA standard of living, we would need five worlds. Even at the level of Europe we need three worlds.

    I agree with your desire to develop alternative energy. One thing that inhibits us is that our politicians are motivated by the desire to be re elected and therefore avoid taking difficult decisions. This is one of the subjects I include in my novel ‘Shadows in the Wall’ which has a background of political revolution.