Hydraulic Fracturing FAQs
No. Fracking, as currently practiced across the United States, poses serious risks to the health and safety of communities and the environment.
What do you mean you don’t know all the chemicals being used for fracking? Haven’t you done your research?
Oh, we’ve done our research, alright. The reason many fracking chemicals go unknown is because they’re never actually disclosed at all, anywhere, to anyone, ever.
Nope, no technology currently exists to make fracking safe.
Pressures under the earth, temperature changes, ground movement from constructing nearby wells, and shrinkage crack and damage the thin layer of brittle cement that seals the wells. And getting the cement right as drilling goes horizontal is extremely challenging.
The flaming faucets documented in Gasland are the product of natural gas migration into water supplies in most cases due to fracking right next door. Numerous investigations have confirmed this fact, including studies by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and many others. The industry is essentially claiming a giant conspiracy theory – that these families all across the country are lying in reporting that their wells never flamed before fracking.
Actually, no. Methane leaks during the fracking process likely cancels out any benefit gained from burning natural gas instead of coal.
The jobs created by fracking are not the kind of quality jobs American workers deserve.
The new rules *only* apply to fracking on federal land, which is only a tiny slice of fracking nationwide.
Fracking fluid is a toxic brew that consists of multiple chemicals. Industry can pick from a menu of up to 600 different kinds.
Wastewater disposal is among the biggest challenges of fracking.
Yes. A lot.
Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is a means of natural gas extraction employed in deep natural gas well drilling. Once a well is drilled, millions of gallons of water, sand and proprietary chemicals are injected, under high pressure, into a well. The pressure fractures the shale and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well.
The FRAC Act (Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness to Chemical Act) is a House bill intended to repeal the Halliburton Loophole and to require the natural gas industry to disclose the chemicals they use.
Very serious. For one thing, we don’t even know all the chemicals being used during the fracking process. But many of the ones we do know about are well-documented (1,2,3) for causing cancer, birth defects, and disorders of the nervous system. The same is true of many naturally occuring but highly toxic substances that are unearthed throughout the process. These materials are disturbed by drilling or dracking, then seep into the water supply.
The much-touted 50% reduction in climate impact from burning gas is not likely to be achieved for many decades — if ever — due to leaking. And we don’t have many decades to stabilize the climate.
The average well is up to 8,000 feet deep. The depth of drinking water aquifers is about 1,000 feet. The problems typically stem from poor cement well casings that leak natural gas as well as fracking fluid into water wells.
Not only are the flaming faucets from Dimock real, but contamination has been conclusively traced to the fracking-related activity of one particular company.
Do you agree natural gas from fracking is a bridge fuel while we develop carbon-free sources of energy like wind and solar?
Fracked gas is a bridge to nowhere. Reports (1, 2) suggest fugitive emissions of methane are so substantial that they completely outweigh any climate benefits of gas as compared to coal. Further, the flood of cheap natural gas in the market is having unintended consequences for renewable energy, which is being further squeezed out of the market place.
No. The idea that fracking is the key to American energy independence is a myth. We don’t use natural gas to power cars, and we don’t use oil to generate electricity.
No. Fracking is exempt or excluded from most major federal laws protecting environmental health.
What about the University of Texas study that finds no connection between fracking and water contamination?
The University of Texas at Austin has withdrawn that study after the lead investigator was tied to have a financial interest in the natural gas industry.
Generally, 2-8 million gallons of water may be used to frack a well. Some wells consume much more. A well may be fracked multiple times, with each frack increasing the chances of chemical leakage into the soil and local water sources.
Yes! Fracking has been proven to cause earthquakes, directly and indirectly.
Horizontal hydrofracking is a means of tapping shale deposits containing natural gas that were previously inaccessible by conventional drilling.
In 2005, the Bush/Cheney Energy Bill exempted natural gas drilling from the Safe Drinking Water Act.
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