Search OCA:
Get Local!

Find Local News, Events & Green Businesses on OCA's State Pages:

OCA News Sections

Organic Consumers Association

Fracking: What's That Smell?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Environment and Climate Resource Center page, Colorado News page, New York News page and our California News page.

You know what natural gas smells like. Or do you? Natural gas is actually odorless. That rotten-egg smell is added for safety reasons. Otherwise, you might not notice a potentially deadly gas leak.

If only we could add a similar smell to the natural gas industry. Too many people-especially politicians-aren't paying attention to the dangers of the current "boom" in natural gas development. Here are three big reasons why we should stop new gas drilling before it starts and replace fossil fuels at every opportunity with clean, renewable energy. 



It starts with how we get gas out of the ground. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is problem number one. Frackers inject a toxic chemical cocktail underground under high pressure to fracture the rock and release the gas. A lot of that fluid comes back up the well as waste and, when it does, it's even more toxic than it started out.



People who live in areas where fracking is happening are outraged. They should be. What guarantee do they have that their drinking water won't be affected by fracking? None. How do they know that toxic wastewater from fracking will be disposed of in a way that ensures it won't contaminate aquifers ten, twenty or thirty years from now? They don't. 



In fact, a ProPublica investigation has identified more than 1,000 cases of water contamination near drilling sites. The risks don't end when the drilling does, either. The question isn't whether abandoned wells and fracking-waste storage sites can leak, but how many will fail, and how soon it will happen. Yet, incredibly, fracking enjoys exemptions from parts of at least seven major national environmental statutes, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. The rush to frack for natural gas has occurred with maximum greed and minimum oversight.



The next time someone tries to tell you that fracking is safe, ask them why, then, the industry spends so much money getting exemptions to our nation's environmental laws. Ask why the gas industry won't fully disclose exactly what's in the billions of gallons of water they are pumping into wells across the country. Ask why the gas industry fights so hard to enforce gag rules on local hospitals so that doctors can't talk about what chemicals are poisoning gas-drilling communities. 



The Sierra Club believes no community should be forced to accept the risks of fracking. That's why we're working with local activists to support moratoriums on fracking in New York, Illinois and eight other states, as well as the right of local communities, like Longmont and Fort Collins in Colorado, to declare fracking off-limits within their borders. 




>>> Read the Full Article

For more information on this topic or related issues you can search the thousands of archived articles on the OCA website using keywords: