1) Fracking is making people sick. There are reports of increases of everything from asthma to nausea to organ failure in neighborhoods where fracking chemicals have already been exploded underground and leaked into the air.
2) Groundwater is being poisoned, and it’s not just evidenced in the explosive methane pouring out of people’s taps that Josh Fox’s Gasland so famously disclosed. Underground aquifers are being silently tainted forever by the explosion of a toxic blend of water-chemicals-and-sand shot deep below the ground to help “free” the natural gas that is locked in rock and shale.
3) Even the natural gas industry admits that 20 percent of its wells will fail, in most cases meaning the cement casing that is supposed to contain the chemicals will crack and leak.(Remember the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill in the Gulf? Also, a result of cement casing failure.)
4) If fracking comes to your town, an industrial wasteland will certainly follow. Explosions, truck traffic, foul-smelling air and depleted water sources will become your daily headache and the local infrastructure—roads and bridges—taxed and destroyed. If the moratorium is lifted in New York state and fracking is allowed, it’s anticipated that somewhere between 40,000 and 80,000 new wells will be drilled. Each will require an access road, a five-acre well pad, a spider web of pipelines to help deliver the gas once its above ground, 50,000 gallons of chemicals, 4.9 million gallons of water and a thousand diesel truck trips (thanks to my friend environmental biologist Sandra Steingraber for those numbers).
5) Wastewater is left behind. Those five million gallons of water and 50,000 gallons of chemicals that go down into each well don’t stay underground—most comes back out in a messy toxic sludge, which then has to be stored... somewhere. Often it is pumped into a nearby holding pond, maybe buried, and in some cases trucked to another county, or another state (see Pennsylvania and Ohio), where it is injected underground to poison for a second time. Uggh.
How worried are you about fracking? Say no to your politicians.