Frack It!

Have you ever seen those commercials with the lady in all white blabbing about “clean natural gas”? We lap that stuff up with a spoon without questioning a thing the paid actress is telling us. Yep, it burns clean, but what about getting it out of the ground? There’s a lot more interest in hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” now that Pennsylvania is experiencing the sort of gas boom that hit the West ten years ago. Gas drilling is spread across 34 states and 800,000 wells, with lots more on the way. Sure, we’ve seen the reports of fouled air and water, even the guy in Hudson, CO who could light his water on fire – from the tap! Massive landscapes have been developed into high-density industrial complexes. Take a drive sometime through the Jonah Field and along the Pinedale Anticline near Pinedale, Wyoming. Check out the Rulison Field in Colorado at the base of the Roan Plateau. Sacrificial moonscapes.

Fracking makes it economically feasible to drill the West (and now the East) on such a grand scale. Like a mini earthquake, water and sand… along with proprietary chemicals are injected into the earth under extreme high pressure, opening fissures and releasing the gas. The fracking compound is then pumped into open waste ponds, usually seen with a string of muti-colored flags over the top. Until now, there’s been no law requiring the energy companies to tell what they’re pumping into the earth, and into our ground water. Cancer causing benzene anyone? Wyoming, at the top of the heap for energy development, has taken the enormous step forward with legislation requiring fracking operations to report what’s in that chemical fracking mixture. It’s about damn time the Feds strictly regulate fracking. Read more in this David Sirota article.

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