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The Ongoing Debate: Is Fracking Safe?

December 15th, 2010

If you’ve been paying attention to the news at all lately, you’ve probably heard a fair bit about fracking. So what the frack is fracking? 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 ongoing debate over hydraulic fracturing for natural gas boils down to: energy companies want to drill, while people concerned about drinking water supplies and the effects of drilling chemicals on human health do not.

Yesterday, New York Gov. David Paterson signed an executive order to halt the controversial natural gas drilling process until July 1, 2011. But it’s only sort of good news. While a moratorium is better than nothing at all, it’s certainly no guarantee of a well-protected environment.

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And it’s not just New York that has to worry about it. Fracking is happening right here in our own backyard. The potential drilling threatens the entire region and many others across the country, as exposed by the documentary Gasland…

Watch the trailer:

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“The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a “Saudia Arabia of natural gas” just beneath us. But is fracking safe? What do you think?

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