|They called it the start of a new oil rush.
It is said to make the US the leading oil exporter… but the effects are a lot more serious than they thought. And repairing the damage, if it will be possible at all, will dwarf the total benefits as recent reports prove:
How fracking poisons our Food
Healthy farming needs abundant supplies of clean water, clean air, and clean soil. It needs a critical mass of acreage that is not fragmented by drill pads, access roads, pipelines and compressor stations. Farms need to be free of the stigma that may be attributed to food sourced from areas where fracking could take place.
A few points to consider:
- Air-borne gases that are released in the drilling and transport process, and from thousands of diesel fueled truck trips per well, is converted to ground-level ozone when combined with sunlight. These emissions can cause health problems in humans and livestock. Ground level ozone has been shown to reduce crop yield by up to 30%, and endangers key feed crops such as clover, vital for pastured livestock.
- Methane and other chemicals that seep out in the process will wind up in air and surface water such as farm ponds, streams and rivers that provide irrigation for livestock and crops.
- Chemical residues in wastewater can poison animals.
- Unlike agriculture’s water usage, water used for hydraulic fracturing is consumptive and permanently removed from the hydrological cycle. This is especially foolish and wasteful in areas of extreme drought where the availability of water is already shrinking.
- It is impossible for adequate food safety inspections to occur since oil and gas companies are not required to fully disclose the chemicals used in the toxic drilling cocktail. There is no set process for testing for contaminants or complete knowledge of what to test for.
- Interestingly, the ingredients of salt and water cannot receive organic certification.
- Sales of food and farm products from fracked areas will be adversely affected by the wholesale and retail buyers distrust of the health and safety of the product, forcing the end of businesses, the loss of food, and the end of a way of life.
Fracking is depleting our water
As US public policy debates over the dangers and benefits of fracking for shale gas persist, a new report has emerged showing that the practice generated 280 billion gallons of toxic waste last year – containing cancer-causing and radioactive substances.
Fracking a single well can use between two and nine million gallons of water combined with sand and chemicals. Much of the fresh water used returns to the earth’s surface, but contains radium and bromides.
“When bromide in the wastewater mixes with chlorine (often used at drinking water treatment plants), it produces trihalomethanes, chemicals that cause cancer and increase the risk of reproductive or developmental health problems,” the report notes. It also found that 450,000 tons of air pollutants can potentially be produced in one year by the practice.
Fracking causes earthquakes
States where hydraulic fracturing is taking place have seen a surge in earthquake activity, raising suspicions that the unconventional drilling method could be to blame, especially the wells where the industry disposes of its wastewater.
Oklahoma has recorded nearly 250 small-to-medium earthquakes since January, according to statistics kept by the U.S. Geological Survey. That’s close to half of all the magnitude 3 or higher earthquakes recorded this year in the continental United States. The biggest concern was Oklahoma’s 5.7-magnitude earthquake in 2011.
A study published earlier this month in the journal Science suggests that just four wells injecting massive amounts of drilling wastewater into the ground are probably shaking up much of the state, accounting for one out of every five quakes from the eastern border of Colorado to the Atlantic coast.
The “shale oil miracle” has only worked to fill the pockets of Big Oil… while destroying the lives of American farmers…
And the consequences will be felt sooner rather than later…
Stay safe. Stay prepared.