Nearly all natural gas extraction today involves a technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in which dangerous chemicals [emphasis added] are mixed with large quantities of water and sand and injected into wells at extremely high pressure. Fracking is a suspect in polluted drinking water in Arkansas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming, where residents have reported changes in water quality or quantity following fracturing operations.(1)The oil and gas industries are getting away with this dangerous process because it is largely unregulated. The NRDC tells us that
Current regulation is pathetic due to exemptions secured by the gas drilling industry from many major federal environmental laws, including the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. As a result, gas drilling companies can disregard requirements that other industries have to follow. Among other things, in most places they do not have to identify the toxic chemicals they use in their operations, despite the risks those chemicals pose to drinking water [emphasis added].(2)Mark Ruffalo sums up the technique and the potential consequences:
Here, David Letterman shows us that this is no laughing matter:
If you're like me, you probably feel as if the corporations are hitting us from all directions, focusing only on the buck in hand rather than the health of the future. This is a pretty big deal as we cannot survive without clean drinking water. Find out if there are groups in our area working to regulate this dangerous issue and get involved.