While fracking is probably not something discussed at most kitchen tables in America, the article referenced above certainly should garner attention. A new study from Duke University found that from 2011 to 2016, the water use per well increased up to 770 percent. In addition, the toxic wastewater produced in the first year of production jumped to 1440 percent.
Ok, so what difference does this make? Most people who have heard of fracking know that it’s part of the process by which drilling companies use large volumes of liquid … mostly water … to extract oil and gas from various wells throughout the country. Therein lies the real problem: The process of using such large volumes of water during this process is straining the already over used water supply, according to the study.
The thing is, once this water is used it’s pretty much lost for good. According to Anthony Ingraffea, a professor at Cornell University, “shale gas/oil is exchanging absurd volumes of water for absurd volumes of fossil fuels at a time where using the latter is jeopardizing the availability of the former.” At the same time, fracking “is exchanging precious volumes of water usable for drinking and farming for toxic volumes of wastewater most of which has to be transported and injected underground,” at grave risk to underground sources of drinking water.
So there we have it … another study … more bad news. Does it even matter anymore?
It does to me. And I know it matters to millions of Americans. But there are many out there who either don’t believe the science or are willing to overlook it due to the immediate economic benefit fracking provides to many communities throughout the country. Yes, fracking means jobs. And to many people, those jobs are more important than the science out there that says we shouldn’t be fracking. The science that says drilling and more drilling are exacerbating climate change at an alarming rate. To much of America, the science really doesn’t matter.
It’s a dilemma. Is there a way to convince rural America, which is where most of these wells are located, that we need to find a way to eliminate fracking and drilling in favor of a massive green-energy infrastructure? Can we find a way to convince them that the need for action is urgent?
We know how powerful the energy companies are. Let’s face it, they own politicians … lots of them. And we’re now on the precipice of the Supreme Court of the United States moving even further toward doing the bidding of these powerful corporations … for years to come.
So my hope is that by sharing this post, as part of our Climate Change Tuesday series, we can begin to change minds … one by one. Please check out the link above … and share it with as many people as you can. Oh, and in 65 days there’s one thing we all can do to send a message to the corporate-owned politicians: Vote them out!