Recently the natural gas business has been booming in the US due to a new "mining" technique which allow companies to access natural gas deposits that were inaccessible before. This new technique is called fracking, and it is in desperate need of federal regulation.
The fracking process involves drilling a very deep welling, and then pumping a mixture of water, sand, and some unknown mixture of chemicals into the well. The pressure from this mixture breaks up shale formations in the ground, releasing natural gas for capture.
What's the problem? The problem is that the natural gas companies refuse to release the information about what chemicals they are pumping into the ground - they contend however that they use concrete to secure the well so that none of the chemicals seep into the ground water. However I am very concerned about this because all profit seeking corporations cut corners to cut costs.
I think fracking should be legal - it provides jobs and helps the economy - but I think it needs to be regulated so that it is safe for the environment. There has already been more than one incident where the chemicals have seeped into the ground water - and those land owners can no longer use their well water - indefinitely! They now have no water in their house. How do you clean contaminated ground water? Safety regulations need to be put in place.
More information about this topic can be found here
Fracking companies are not required to disclose the chemicals that they use in the fracking process. Thus, water treatment plants and those trying to clean up spills do not even fully know what they are trying to clean up. Fracking companies are freely dumping fracking fluids into the ocean and that is perfectly legal. Efforts in states to require companies to disclose the fracking fluids have been defeated or the language of the bills often end up protecting the fracking companies and not land owners, water or wildlife.
Chemicals have seeped into the ground water and/or streams and lakes in many locations. Also, many of these fracking companies bring in illegal workers (illegal immigrants) to do some of the work, thus the number of jobs created is not as good as advertised. Fracking has been expanded in state parks and national parks over and over again during the past few years. Elected officials from both parties receive massive campaign contributions from the industry and in exchange often get protection, increased drilling/fracking access to public lands, eminent domain authority over home owners and a number of tax breaks.
Those are just some reasons why the Citizens Party supports a ban on fracking until some of these issues are addressed, especially the health concerns.
"We knew there was something toxic in the water. But we had no way of assessing whether it was a threat to human health or how best to protect the public."
A compromise ought to be reached here. Fracking companies should give a full disclosure of what types of materials comprise the sludge they use to obtain the oil and natural gas deposits, but not necessarily the exact amounts. That would enable the companies to protect their ‘trade secret’ formulas while also allowing the public the knowledge it needs to combat any spills or accidents.
This should be no different than say beer companies having to disclose their ingredients, but not the actual amounts and in what combination the barley and hops were mixed to protect their trademark and business.
The fact that most companies in the fracking industry are so vehemently opposed to giving out what should be common knowledge is highly suspicious. Industry insiders already know what goes into this stuff, hiding it from the public isn’t preventing other oil and gas companies from entering the industry.
It begs the question: What are they hiding.., and why?
E. Schmidt shares: "The problem is that the natural gas companies refuse to release the information about what chemicals they are pumping into the ground - they contend however that they use concrete to secure the well so that none of the chemicals seep into the ground water. However I am very concerned about this because all profit seeking corporations cut corners to cut costs."
and "There has already been more than one incident where the chemicals have seeped into the ground water - and those land owners can no longer use their well water - indefinitely! They now have no water in their house. How do you clean contaminated ground water?"
And there are reports of Home well water becoming flammable, (actually burns when ignited, out of the tap) in Homes located near some of the fracking wells. For these reasons i do not think "fracking" should be legal. Until it is proven "safe", I will vote against it.
We can develop jobs and help Our Economy trough Better paths than this. There is no good reason why Our Industries have to foul Our Natural Environment. We are capable of restoring damage done to the environment when We "extract" and of developing "clean" energies for Our Society.
The honored old Industrial ways are a phase that Our Nation is going through and Better is here. let Us proceed "Forward".
It's actually really small beads that are injected into the ground which helps to lubricate the bore hole. My father helped to develop it with BASF.
Good Morning, Rick Mente. Your comment sort of leaves "it" open as to whether, or not, the chemicals that are in question, are being used in these processes. When you say "actually", do you mean "instead of" (chemicals), or "only"? or do you mean "as well as"?
The problem is not the chemicals that are environmentally hazardous. The problem is the Citizens embracing the practice, non-disclosure, and lack of leadership in the United States.
However, before anything else can happen, the Citizens need to become educated and that in itself is a problem when discussing the ineducable.
One way to curtail the problem is for YOU to stop buying and using petroleum based products. If there is no market for the product then there is no investment in the product.
Another way to curtail the problem is that all democrats and republicans need to go and the Citizens set up a process that is solely based on INTELLIGENCE and the bettering of 322,000,000 people.
Neither of these are solutions because the U.S. Citizens embrace VOC and REPS and DEMS.
The USA is quickly diminishing and apparently is the preference of its Citizens.