What the Frick is fracking?

We at LGBG felt that is was very important to publish an informational introductory post about hydraulic fracking, also spelled fraccing, and the dangers that it poses to our environment. Hydraulic Fracking is a growing concern among environmentalists and scientists around the world and for great reason. This introduction to fracking is intended to spark some curiosity in our readers and encourage them to explore more in terms of hydraulic fracking and join the fight to end its practice.

So what is hydraulic fracking? Hydraulic fracking is a method by which natural gas is extracted from the earth. To do this, systems of pressurized tanks pump a sand, chemical and water mixture into shale rock formations. This is done to create a natural gas well that is continuously fracked until its reserves have been depleted (sometimes 18 times). In the United States, there are over 500,000 wells that produce an excess of 300,000 barrels of natural gas per day. But at what cost to our environment?

Hydraulic fracking has a disastrous environmental impact. First off, 8 million gallons of water are needed in order to frack a well each time. Just to put this into perspective, 500,000 wells being fracked 18 times each, require 72 trillion gallons of water by the time all of the wells have been depleted. Additionally, the chemicals that are used in the fracking process are highly toxic. Among the 600 different chemicals, known carcinogens such as formaldehyde, ethylene glycol and mercury are used. These toxins along with methane being released from the earth are being excreted into the water supply as well as the air supply. Tests of water sources located near fracking wells have indicated much higher levels (sometimes as high as 17 percent) of these toxins. As a likely result of hydraulic fracking, more frequent cases of cancers and neurological disorders have been reported in communities located near wells.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what fracking is, how it is done and the dangers of the practice. It is a very real problem and our reliance on natural gas is continuing to fuel this harmful business. We at LGBG encourage everyone to continue exploring the world of hydraulic fracking and to learn about what you can do to help end it. This site, http://www.dangersoffracking.com is a great place to start your journey. It provides a comprehensive and interactive experience that guides you through the world of fracking.

We have also imbedded a video that provides visual models as well as an explanation of the actual fracking process.


As always, thank you for reading and thank you for spreading the word. Knowledge is indeed power and we all have the responsibility to learn and share!

The U.S. Energy Information Agency has released a report this month which states that energy related carbon dioxide emissions during the first four months of 2012 fell to about the levels noted in 1992. While acknowledging the contribution of conservation efforts, the lagging economy and greater use of renewable energy to the decrease of carbon dioxide emissions, the agency largely attributes the drop-off in levels to low-priced natural gas. The decrease in price of natural gas is driven by higher levels of shale gas drilling in some areas of the northeastern United States, as well as in Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. It is cheaper now to burn natural gas than coal, and as a result, utilities are starting to rely on gas-fired generator plants.

The quick-turnaround from coal to gas has surprised many government and industry experts. The messages regarding climate change and the need for cleaner energy are not new. It appears that people are predominantly cost-driven. An environmentally friendly solution to a pollution problem that is less expensive than an environmentally harmful practice is sure to win.

It is important to mention that any efforts made to counter human-induced climate change must be global. Unfortunately, the use of coal for energy is growing, rather declining in some other countries, specifically in China. Global cooperation to seek cleaner energy solutions is mandatory in order to be effective for any one part of the planet. Another issue looming on the horizon lies with the use of natural gas because while it burns cleaner than coal, it still emits some carbon dioxide. Also drilling for natural gas carries potential risks, some of which are not fully understood. Environmentalists state that in fracking operations, the large volumes of water, sand and other chemicals injected into shale rock to break it apart and free gas often pollute underground drinking water and cause methane leaks, which in turn, and produce air pollution. This contributes to global warming. Some groups, such as the Sierra Club, have major concerns with the potential risks versus the net benefits of using natural gas.

It will be interesting to see the developments in energy sources that will accommodate global expectations, satisfy federal mandates, and effectively address economic and environmental concerns. Research and development in the field of energy is challenging, but hopefully some solutions will be found in the near future. Let’s do all that we can to live green, be green.

Natural gas power plants”cycle” on and off more efficiently than their coal counterparts.