The cover story of this week’s edition of Time magazine raises an issue that deeply disturbs me: hydrofracturing and its effects on the environment. Natural gas companies have set their sights on shale as the best source of natural gas. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But wait. Hydrofracturing (or “hydrofracking”), the method drillers use to extract natural gas from shale, unquestionably devastates the environment. The evidence lies right out in the open, so why do hydrofracking proponents choose to ignore it?
Drillers pump chemicals into underground shale deposits to extract the gas, so doesn’t it stand to reason that these chemicals will end up in the water table and the wells that supply farmers and rural homeowners with drinking water? Consider the fact that livestock and crops hydrate from the same water source, and you can see how easily hydrofracking chemicals enter the food chain. Many property owners are happy to hold a flame to their taps to demonstrate the flammability of their water or share stories of cancer outbreaks in affected areas. Yet the natural gas industry presses on.
I’ve presented the case against hydrofracturing in my article Hydrofracturing: A Danger to our Drinking Water, which was previously published on the Conducive Chronicle website on February 7, 2011. People need to know just how damaging this practice is before signing away drilling rights to their land!