It’s Earth Day today, so I wanted to talk about something that’s hits close to home for me: Hydraulic Fracking
What is Hydraulic Fracking?
This is the way that natural gas is obtained from marcellus shale. It’s found in many states in America, but Pennsylvania is the leader in terms of quantity. Drilling companies have come to Pennsylvania for years now, since at least 2009, and they have drilled for this natural gas.
So what? Don’t we need natural gas?
Well yes, yes we do. But what they’re doing here isn’t fair. Because of a law passed during the Bush/Cheney administration, drilling companies don’t have to pay taxes. Pennsylvania makes absolutely no money from this practice, though we desperately need it- schools and libraries are being shut down because we can’t afford to keep them open.
But that is hardly the worst of it. The drilling companies are allowed to come on to your property and tell you “There is shale here and we’re going to drill for it.” What can you do? Nothing. They are allowed to come on to your property and drill, no matter if you say yes or no. Your personal property rights are stripped away.
What does this mean for the individual?
Some people support the drilling because it gives Pennsylvanians new jobs. But it doesn’t really, as most of the workers are migrant workers. People are also subjected to horrible conditions. If you’re unlucky enough to have a rig by your house, you can have strange men walk by your house at all hours of the night. No one wants that; think of the lack of security! There’s also constant noise from the rigs, as they run 24/7. They have stadium lights on at all hours and they test the quantity of gas coming out by lighting it on fire- with absolutely no warning!
People are afraid to drink the water. In one well known case, the gas leaked into the water so much that you could literally light it on fire. How is that safe? Answer: it’s not. People are afraid to drink their water, cook with their water, even shower with it. Because it’s not safe. And frankly, it looks disgusting. People have been getting sick, with the most extreme cases leading to organ failure and death.
How does it harm the environment?
A better question would be: How doesn’t it? How Hydraulic Fracking works is shown in the picture above. Basically they run a pipeline down into the ground for about a mile, then they turn it sideways and drill there for about a mile. Through that pipe they blast fracking liquid. What’s in fracking liquid? No one knows. The company won’t release what’s in it. We know that there’s water and over 100 chemicals. These companies are allowed to use 4-9 million galleons of water a day. In one single day. There are people dying of dehydration and we use water for this.
The water, when it comes out of the ground (as over 60% of it does) is poisonous. You can’t drink it, as it has all those chemicals in it. So what do they do with it? It’s shipped off to abandoned coal mines in Ohio, where it has been linked to earthquakes. It’s polluting the earth.
The effects on animals are disturbing. Habitats are being lost because these sites take up so much room. Forests are being disturbed or destroyed to make room for these sites. Animals are losing their habitats and, worst of all, they’re being effected by the chemicals that are leaking into their water way worse than we are. (warning: graphic picture).
What can you do?
Raise awareness. If you live in Pennsylvania, contact your senator, your mayor, any government official and tell them to STOP. The money to be made for this is not worth the environmental risks.
And if you could, please reblog this and not simply like it, to raise awareness. This process needs to be stopped now.