Hydraulic Fracturing, or ‘fracking’ for short, is the process in which toxic chemicals and billions of gallons of freshwater are pumped into the ground to release deposits of oil. It has resulted in irreversible damage to underground water reserves, polluted rivers and lakes, uses billions of gallons of drinking water every day, and causes oil spills, methane explosions, and increased carbon emissions.
A 2011 Environmental Working Group document revealed petrol companies previously warned about fracking risks, but were ignored by greedy corporate shills. One SEC report highlighted that Chesapeake Energy even bragged about its aggressive campaign to acquire leaseholds.
The EWG group also unveiled that Americans have signed over a million natural gas leases over the last 10 years. “The number of gas wells drilled in the U.S. has surged from about 105,000 between 1991 and 2000 to almost 250,000 over the following decade. The number of oil wells drilled grew from about 85,000 between 1991 and 2000 to 115,000 over the following 10 years”, the report states. Many signatures had no idea of the risks until it was too late.
Americans against Fracking is a massive coalition of over 100 organisations fighting fracking nationwide. They carry four specific programmes: #DontFrackOurClimate, #WhatTheFrack, and #GlobalFrackdown, in addition to an EPA transparency petition. Together, their goal is to fully ban, not limit, the practice of fracking, while encouraging clean, renewable energy sources.
The EPA has documented over 150 instances of freshwater contamination across America.
However, the AAF exposed the EPA’s premature closure of important investigations in Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wyoming. After the company Cabot Oil and Gas sullied the Dimock, PA water supply, the EPA lied about the extent of the damage.
A Food and Water Watch report details how a Penn State survey systematically fudged statistics on fracking job creation and growth. It discovered that the survey “overstated the in-state portion of drilling and production spending by shale gas companies in Pennsylvania in 2009”, that the highest paying jobs would go to “transient, out-of-state workers” instead of New Yorkers, and used incorrect multipliers when compiling figures.
In the UK, a memo exposed Cabinet members attempts to bypass local councils in order to fast track fracking. Disguising fracking wells as “nationally important infrastructure”, three conspirators outlined a surreptitious plan to practice fracking nationally in 10 years.
Not only does fracking pollute the land and water, but it violates carbon emissions’ laws. The Campaign against Climate Change warns of the dangers of this: “Natural gas is mostly methane (CH4) [which is a] more potent greenhouse gas than (CO2).” The NYT uncovered that drillers inadvertently release 100 billion cubic feet of natural gas every year–8 times EPA estimates. If fracking continues, the governments responsible should be held responsible for violating the Kyoto Protocol and COP21 Initiative.
Australian Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham shocked the world by lighting the Queensland Condamine river on fire to show that nearby fracking was damaging the environment. The river burned for over an hour after being set alight.
Bulgaria, Germany, France, Wales (UK), Scotland (UK) and Ireland are the only European states to have issued a complete ban on fracking. New York and Vermont are the only two states to completely ban fracking in the US. The organisation Keep the Water Safe posts minute-by-minute information about fracking bans around the world.
Under Chapter 11 of the NAFTA treaty, corporations can sue governments over fracking and oil extraction regulations. Recently, TransCanada, a massive tar sands company, sued the Obama administration for 15 billion after the president rejected the project due to intense pressure from activists.