When did we all get disconnected from the needs of nature by believing we humans could survive by constantly destroying the natural ecosystem that was designed to help sustain life? Is it okay to pollute the land, which ultimately pollutes the water supply in the name of making profits?
These are just some of the questions posed when you dive into the violent world of fracking. If you’re not familiar with what fracking is, we’ll describe it with fewer words so you would get it.
To those of you that ask – why is fracking controversial? I urge you to read this article in its entirety and do your own research before deciding if oil fracking is something you would want in your city.
While your views about this practice might depend on where you’re living, but as a member of the human family, the consequences of fracking will impact your life sooner, rather than later. Since we have a systemic approach to the subject in this article, let’s try to figure out when the process first began.
What is Hydraulic Fracking?
Deep, deep, within the earth, are mineral deposits of oil and gas buried within rock formations. Scientists have figured out a way to break up these rock formations to loosen up these mineral resources, which ultimately make it easier to pump them up to the surface for extraction.
To make it clearer, vertical holes are drilled thousands of feet into the earth. Somehow they’ve figured out a way to install cement casings, which acts as a conduit for the millions of gallons of water, sand, harsh chemicals, and specially formulated fracking fluid that is needed to break apart the solid rock and shale formations deep underground.
As the fracking practice got more insidious, it is not uncommon for mineral oil drillers to use small powerful explosives to disturb the bedrock shale formations before the other elements are pumped into the earth to break it apart.
The description of the process might seem and sound innocent, until you read about the environmental impacts of fracking that is occurring all around the world, especially right here in the United States of America.
When Was Fracking Invented?
The practice of hydraulic fracking was first developed in the later part of the 1940s, but there were limitations to its use. The limitations to fracking for several decades can be traced to the lack of digging technology that could dig deeper into the earth at a reasonable cost.
The modern practice of hydraulic fracking was first made possible in 1999 in the state of Texas, but still, the environmental laws made it impossible to do it on a larger scale.
This all changed when in 2005, then vice-president Dick Cheney met with the oil industry lobbyist and they wrote, enacted, and passed the 2005 Energy Policy Act, which in essence gutted the Clean Water Act by giving a regulatory exclusion to this exploration technique.
Before the change, energy companies had to prove the millions of gallons of polluted water from fracking will not flow into the source of drinking water in the area or beyond. Water flows at a faster rate than any other natural substance and you can bet that contamination from one area will eventually flow to other areas.
The change to the clean water act was big money politics at its dirtiest, and the uproar it created soon died down. That in a nutshell, my brothers, and sisters, is how we got fracking to be conducted on a massive scale without the right government oversight or regulation since an exclusion was slipped into the law.
What Chemicals are used in Fracking?
Due to the power of the energy industry lobbying group, it is impossible to know exactly the complete list of chemicals used in most fracking operations. From insiders that broke ranks and looking through the filings with the Environmental Protection Agency, there are more than 700 chemicals used during the activity called fracking.
Some of the chemicals listed include lead, benzene, citric acid, rock salts, sand, water, and many others. The company responsible for making the “fracking cocktail” as it is famously called refuses to release the full list of the chemicals used by withholding 10% as trade secrets.
We do know that the fracking cocktail also contains methanol, hydrotreated light petroleum distillates, and hydrochloric acid. These are all powerful carcinogens that can cause health problems like blurred vision, headaches, skin irritation, etc. even in small doses.
To know the complete environmental effects of fracking the industry must be compelled to release the full list of the ingredients used to make the fracking cocktail. With our political system so legally and fantastically corrupt, it would take a miracle to get the right information out of the bad actors within the energy industry.
Environmental Impacts of Fracking
It is true that almost every human activity will have its advantages and disadvantages based on how you look at it. Hydraulic fracking in this modern age does come with pros and cons, but I can assure you that the negatives far outweigh any positives that might be derived from the minerals.
It is true that since fracking became widely used all over America our dependence on foreign oil is now almost gone for good. It simply means we’ll no longer be held hostage by Middle East dictators simply because they have easily extractable oil.
Due to the fracking boom, the production of oil and natural gas have exploded and we might soon be exporting the minerals to other countries in need of the stuff.
Greed for the lack of a better word someone once said in a famous movie is good. For it is greed for more profits that make companies enter this competitive field, which ultimately led to the lowering of gasoline prices?
It might be safe to say that the lower gas prices all over America can be traced to the fracking boom. At the height of the fracking boom, the pay scale for workers became the talk of the town.
Truck drivers were making high six figures due to the limited supply of applicants. Pay within the industry is far from good, it was excellent, and some workers made millions of dollars within just a few years from doing that type of work.
The frenetic fracking activity has down a little bit due to the drop in oil prices, but it still ongoing at a rapid rate in many parts of our great country. A few billionaires were created from the fracking boom.
The above advantages might lull you into thinking fracking is good for humans and the environment, but that is not the case when we examine all the disadvantages of fracking despite the efforts of the energy companies from allowing their activities to be critically examined, to see if it is all that good for mankind.
When you know how fracking works you’ll soon realize that the means does not justify the end result. This industrial activity is polluting our water supply faster than Mother Nature can replenish it. This is far worse than what happened to the coal country areas of our nation.
Fracking is basically an activity that uses millions of gallons of water and destructive chemical compounds that ultimately flows to the river streams and oceans, which is where our drinking water supply comes from.
Despite all the hidden lies, do you know that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that happened in April 2010 is still impacting the coastal areas of Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and other gulf states? It is a disaster that still impacts the quality of the seafood from those areas to this day.
Apart from the air we breathe, water is probably more important for sustaining life. Anywhere this activity has been conducted there are problems that emerge to render the water supply heavily polluted with the untold number of carcinogens?
Some of these areas are now dealing with an upsurge in birth defects, skin cancer, skin irritations, and other ailments that have made the joy of a good job illusory when compared to the negative impact of the activity as it relates to the quality of life issues is causes.
So, will you allow fracking into your town with all the good jobs but with the knowledge that your water supply will be probably polluted for decades and your land might become uninhabitable pretty soon?
It does not surprise me that some would choose to have all the high paying jobs even if it means the destruction of the environment and quality of life. Now you understand why most politicians find it very hard to tell the citizens the real truth, for some of us are not mature enough to handle it.
My Personal Take
If you have to ask is fracking bad for the environment that means you’ve not been keeping up with the rate of industrial pollution going on in America today.
Most of us are shortsighted and never think of the collective need of the human race as a whole, but I can assure you that the polluted water caused by fracking will find its way to your dinner table in due time.
We, humans, claim to be God fearing and yet we allow homelessness in most of the cities in our country. The environment is the key to our survival, for, without it, we will all be extinct in a short period of time. It makes me laugh when I hear people talk like we’re separate from nature, a thought that is so far away from the truth.
The pollution we do to the environment comes back to haunt us in the form of diseases and poor quality of life. You can do your own research to help you determine if fracking is good or bad, but you no longer have the luxury of watching as a bystander.
Once you know about all the negative effects of fracking, it becomes your duty to do what you can to shine the light on this destructive industrial activity.
Expecting others to do the civic duties for you is a cop-out, and when your body starts falling apart from all the diseases caused by this activity, the first person to blame should be yourself for failing to speak up when you discovered the evils of fracking.