Fracking, scientifically known as induced hydraulic fracturing, is a means to explore Earth’s natural resources. It consists in fracturing the soils, through the injection of a liquid at high pressure, in order to extract natural gas or crude oil. The technic exists since the 1940’s, but has been improved in the last decades. The injected liquid is composed of water, sand and a great number of chemicals.
We chose to write about this subject because the process of fracking has been quite criticized in recent years. It is said to be prejudicial for the communities which live around the drilling sites, since it generates a lot of toxic waste, contributing to air and water pollution. In the United States, for instance, thanks to an aggressive lobbying by the gas industry, fracking enjoys exemptions from important environmental legislation, such as from the Safe Drinking Water Act. On the other hand, opposed interest groups are trying to ban this process, for it not only consumes large amounts of fresh water, but also returns it much more polluted. Countries such as France have banned this process due to public pressure. However, in many other countries this technic is used and the United States is the champion of it. Future will tell what the environmental inheritance will be. Keep following this issue, since it is a hot topic and we will hear more and more about it.
Check out this website about the dangers of fracking, or listen to this more objective video about the process, or check out the movie Promised Land, by Gus Van Sant, that gives you an idea about the stakes involved in this matter, or even the documentary Gasland.