Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, is the process of taking millions of gallons of water, mixing it with tens of thousands of gallons of chemicals – including known carcinogens – and pumping it all underground at extreme pressure to break up rock formations and release oil or natural gas. New techniques and technologies used in the process are more intensive and riskier than conventional drilling, making fracking more dangerous than ever.
Fracking brings rampant environmental and economic problems to rural communities. Scientists now believe that natural gas is likely worse than coal in terms of driving global climate change in the coming decades. Accidents and leaks pollute rivers, streams and underground sources of drinking water. Regions with heavy drilling and fracking have elevated levels of smog and other airborne pollutants, including some carcinogens. Communities in these regions also face an onslaught of heavy truck traffic — often either laden with dangerous chemicals used in drilling and fracking or with the resulting toxic waste. Drilling and fracking industrialize rural and urban communities alike, threatening public health and destroying property values for many landowners.
These problems are just some of many linked to fracking and drilling associated with fracking. Check out our materials below to learn more about one of our era’s most pressing environmental and public health threats, and what you can do to stop it.
The Case for a Ban on Gas Fracking, Food & Water Watch
False Promises and Hidden Costs: The Illusion of Economic Benefits from Fracking, Food & Water Watch
Fracking: The New Global Water Crisis, Food & Water Watch
Fueling Extinction: How Dirty Energy Drives Wildlife to the Brink, Center for Biological Diversity, 2012.
U.S. Energy Insecurity: Why Fracking for Oil and Natural Gas Is a False Solution, Food & Water Watch
WASTE: The Soft & Dirty Underbelly of Fracking, Food & Water Watch