The natural gas extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, has simultaneously become a cash cow for unimaginably wealthy energy companies, a brutally efficient destroyer of limited natural resources depended upon by the rest of us, and a disturbing new trend that will lead to massive social instability. Until we come together and put a stop to fracking by direct action, banning fracking in our cities and states and using clean energy, fracking will continue to deplete every everything we have until it’s too late.
Most important, fracking shouldn’t be seen as just a niche cause for environmentalists, but as a huge intersectional issue that affects everyone, no matter which issue you’re most passionate about. Fracking hurts all of us, and it will take all of us to come together and end it for good. Here are nine perfectly good reasons fracking needs to end immediately and permanently.
1. Fracking Results in Unprecedented Amounts of Earthquakes
Oklahoma, home to hundreds of fracking sites, is now more earthquake-prone than California. Between 1990 and 2008, Oklahoma had only three earthquakes per year that registered at 3.0 or more on the Richter scale. In 2013, Oklahoma had 109 earthquakes. That number has increased to 238 as of June 2014. One quake caused by drilling destroyed 14 homes in Oklahoma City, injured two people and buckled pavement. Additional, persistent quakes will undoubtedly cause more injuries, potential deaths, and damage to infrastructure, costing taxpayers millions. EPA seismologists acknowledge a very clear correlation between fracking and earthquakes, saying the quakes would stop as soon as wells were turned off.
2. Fracking Results in Extreme Water Contamination
Fracking wells, which inject water, sand, and chemicals deep into the ground to extract natural gas, inevitably create significant runoff into groundwater systems. 40,000 gallons of 600 different kinds of chemicals are used in each fracking well, including formaldehyde, mercury, uranium, and hydrochloric acid. To run all the fracking wells in the United States, it takes 360 BILLION gallons of those harmful chemicals. And only 30 to 50 percent of those chemicals are reclaimed, while the rest is left in the ground, not biodegradable. Pennsylvania, a major fracking state, has just admitted that fracking has contaminated local water supplies 243 times in 22 counties.