6/27/11

Fair and Balanced Fracking Debate

Fracking

There has been alot of noise going on about fracking. Fracking or Fracturing -- vital to extracting gas from shale formations -- involves injecting tanker-loads of water and sand into a gas well to blow apart the rock and release the gas. The whole discussion about it is whether or not the technique of  fracking puts dangerous chemicals in the drinking water and/or sets your faucet on fire. I am especially worried about this debate partly because it's hard to hear the most objective experts on this technique. The loud noise is coming everywhere from corporately funded studies, hysteria driven rumors, and unbiased scientific studies that are not corporately or emotion driven. Its a question of whether this is another anti-vaccine scare hoax or another tobacco cancer bombshell. I dug painfully through the noise to try and separate health hazard from hysteria land listened to stories and incidents cited as evidence for or against the technique. Where to start? Well the truth is I don't know where to start. There are just so many arguments being made by all sides that I have trouble separating fact from fiction. So I'm going to present the arguments with the disclaimer of who is saying it so you can read with critical observation. I'm leaning towards that fracking is more dangerous than proponents say it isn't.

  • What is the Drilling Industry saying? (For Fracking)
  • Center For American Progress (Against Fracking)
  • The Libertarian Reason Magazine's Science corespondent Ronald Baily who btw voted for Obama has said fracking is safe. He also acknowledges the existence of global warming and tells those denying it to hang it up. So he's not a pseudo scientist.
  • EPA (pending study)
    • A first report of results is expected by the end of 2012. However, certain portions of the work will be long-term projects that are not likely to be finished at that time.  Additional reports of study findings will be published as the longer-term projects progress with an additional report in 2014.- EPA
Please look at both sides with a critical eye.
As Jon Stossel said when discussing this issue: "Natural gas is not risk-free, but no energy source is. Perfect is not one of the choices".

Also the issue of fracking also made it's way on "Stuff they don't want you to know" Conspiracy Show from Howstuffworks.com.
Read More from Source Watch and the EPA

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