What’s the True Cost of Fracking?

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Arsenic. Cadmium. Chromium. Radon. Lead. These are just a few of the toxins used in hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, a controversial drilling process to retrieve oil and natural gas from shale deposits under the surface of the Earth.

Concerns about the process have been mounting, as studies have linked it to a host of environmental and public health problems, from increased infant mortality and low birth weight babies to the release of cancer-causing radioactive gas, contamination of drinking water and earthquakes. Fracking also releases methane, which is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

According to a 2015 report by the nonprofit FracTracker Alliance, there are at least 1.7 million fracked wells across the United States, with the most in Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma, each with more than 200,000 wells. (Prior to 2009, Oklahomans experienced an average of two earthquakes a year; these days, there are two every day.)

Yet proponents of fracking argue that it has contributed to the nation’s economic health. A 2015 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the drilling boom fueled by fracking technology added around 725,000 jobs between 2005 and 2012.
Read more at alternet.org

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Published in: on June 5, 2016 at 06:39  Leave a Comment  
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