LOTS of updates on Ecological Internet's campaign to end fracking worldwide. Major new science shows natural gas produced with fracking is at least as damaging to climate change as other fossil fuels including coal, due to the release of methane during drilling. Last week, a blowout at a Chesapeake Energy natural gas well spewed thousands of gallons of fracking fluid in northeastern Pennsylvania. France is moving to outlaw fracking; and protests from Europe to South Africa (in the threatened Karoo ecosystem) are gaining steam.
The anti-fracking movement is taking off worldwide - resisting industry, government and big NGO greenwash that we can blow up Earth destroying water for gas to keep the lights on a bit longer without ecocide. Fracking must not be allowed to expand from its American origin without heavy regulation, if at all. The human family must not allow every last ecosystem to be destroyed before we transition from unsustainable energy use to 100% truly renewable energy and dramatic efficiency and conservation. Tell the Obama administration to set a good example and heavily regulate fracking - we will continue to identify fracking action points internationally.
Fracking injects millions of gallons of highly pressurized water and an unknown cocktail of toxic chemicals deep underground to break rocks that release natural gas. This causes ground water contamination, and gases, chemicals and even radioactivity to flow to the surface. Some 4 million gallons of water are used to frack a well once, which may be fracked up to 18 times. For each frack, some 200 tons of chemicals may be used, creating huge volumes of toxic, caustic and potentially radioactive liquid waste byproducts. The industry refuses to publicly disclose the specific fluids used though it is believed to include kerosene, benzene, toluene, xylene, formaldehyde and even diesel gasoline.
On then Vice-President Cheney’s behest, the 2005 Energy Bill exempted the controversial drilling technique from the Safe Drinking Water Act, allowing the natural gas industry to unleash a massive 34-State drilling campaign. The documentary "Gasland" investigates fracking and was nominated for an Academy award. It shows residents in Pennsylvania, Colorado and other states complaining that fracking has contaminated their water supplies and hurt their health. Families are shown setting tap water alight due to fracking contamination. Well failures have been responsible for gas migration into drinking water aquifers and pulverizing huge underground areas of bedrock has potential to cause earthquakes, allowing large scale seepage of gas into drinking water.
While natural gas is considered cleaner than coal, it still emits about half of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide when burned, and so causes climate change. Natural gas drilling - which is not costing these external environmental costs - is thus in effect being subsidized, slowing the adoption of truly renewable energy sources. President Barack Obama must be called upon to ban hydraulic fracturing.
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