After being quite high profile for a while, issues relating fracking for natural gas seems to have dropped off the radar somewhat – it’s important it doesn’t.
Fracking copped a bit of a caning in the media for a few months, but things seem to have gone a little quiet on bringing associated environmental and other issues to the fore.
The battle concerning gas fracking isn’t over – and many people still don’t know what fracking (hydraulic fracturing) is.
A poll carried out earlier this year found 62 percent of survey participants were unfamiliar with the practice or have never heard of it.
If you fall into this group, just briefly; fracking involves the pumping of sand and fluids under high pressure deep into the ground to fracture rock, allowing natural gas a way to escape and be collected.
The fluids used in the fracturing process have been of concern as they may contain toxic chemicals that could wind up contaminating water supplies.
In some cases, fracking has seen the natural gas itself leaks into aquifers and levels can be so high affected households can light their taps.
Fracking has also been implicated in minor earthquakes and as with any valuable resource, in some countries farmers have been strongarmed into granting mining companies access to their land.
Unfortunately, this is not going to go away on its own as there is far too much money involved.
All sorts of tactics are being used by cashed up parties to ensure fracking activities grow substantially – for examples, PR exercises masquerading as surveys and “greenwashing” gas.
As was/is the case with climate change; it can be difficult to find impartial information – for and against. A study by a University of Texas geologist published in February found no direct link between hydraulic fracturing and groundwater contamination. However, it appears the study was heavily influenced by those with interests in fracking – and this wasn’t disclosed.
Don’t allow the conversation about fracking to be buried under stuff that really doesn’t matter just because the media finds other issues more important (for now). Talk to people about it, raise awareness, take action.
Learn more about issues with fracking:
Lock The Gate
How Green Is Natural Gas?