California is one of the most liberal states, a leader in “green thinking” and the nation’s fourth largest oil-producing state, with more than 350 hydraulic fracturing wells stretching from Northern California all the way to Long Beach.
Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is the process where gallons of water and chemicals are pumped 8,000 feet underground to create something like a mini earthquake. The pressure from the water and chemicals breaks apart rocks and releases natural gas.
The problem is the aftermath of these chemicals. The mixture of more than 596 chemicals being pumped into the ground contaminates the surrounding water supply and leaches into streams, rivers, lakes and wells. Fracking liquid also contains fracturing fluid additives and naturally occurring radioactive substances. This ultimately poisons drinking water, a limited and diminishing resource.
According to Josh Fox, who made a documentary on hydraulic fracking called “Gasland,” anywhere from 1 to 7 million gallons of water are wasted through this process. We’re mixing up our priorities.
The Environmental Protection Agency aims to ensure that natural gas extraction doesn’t result in harm to citizens. The fracking process produces byproducts with high levels of total dissolved solids, which dissolve into calcium, chlorides, nitrate, phosphorus, iron and sulfur. Water with high levels of TDS are unfit for human consumption.
Why is our government supporting an activity that is this bad for our health?
The fracking process started in New Mexico, Texas, Wyoming, Oklahoma and Colorado. And now it’s moving closer to home. In December, the federal government is scheduled to lease sections of land to oil and gas companies to begin the fracking process from Monterey to San Benito and Fresno counties. This will not only affect the families of our fellow students who live in the fracking area, but it will destroy the land.
I don’t understand why we are constantly taking from the earth and treating it like it’s trash, yet we expect it to survive so we can live off of it. There’s no way.
In 1972, then-President Richard Nixon signed the Clean Water Act, which was a leap of progress in the environmental movement. In 2005, the energy bill pushed through Congress by then-Vice President Dick Cheney exempted the oil and natural gas industry from the Safe Drinking Water Act. Those industries are also exempt from the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the superfund law and multiple other environmental acts.
Since fracking is exempt from these laws, you better believe there will be a bunch of environmental issues to follow.
Would you like to turn on your faucet and see a cloudy substance bubble and fizz in your cup? What if you could light your water on fire? It may sound cool, but it has serious environmental and health repercussions.
Methane, ethylene, ethane and propane, all components of natural gas, have been found in the wells of people whose homes were near fracking sites.
Hydraulic fracking is not only horrible for the environment — it’s disastrous to your health. Those who live in or near Monterey, San Benito and Fresno, do your homework and understand what you’re in for. And if you think you’ve escaped fracking, you’re probably next.