The Deadly Extraction of Natural Gas
With the crisis in the Gulf and rising gas prices, another form of energy is gaining momentum. Natural Gas extraction is becoming more prevalent and aggressive. New drilling locations are springing up nation wide.
Josh Fox, a man living in Pennsylvania, was approached by a company hoping to turn his 19 acres into one of those locations. Josh was offered $100,000 to lease the land, so that the gas held underground could be extracted.
Instead, Josh turned down the money and set out to investigate remnant claims of polluted wells, sick landowners, contaminated streams and dead livestock.
Chemicals and sand are violently pumped into the ground, preventing the fracture from collapsing
Josh found incident after incident of these disasters. It turns out, the techniques used by natural gas drilling companies are barbaric at best. Hydraulic Fracturing, a process that uses a high pressure injection of water, sand, and chemicals into the ground to crack open the shale formations and release natural gas. Chemicals and sand are violently pumped into the ground, preventing the fracture from collapsing.
The result, as one can imagine, is devastating to the area. Water wells become chalk full of chemicals. Ground soil will no longer support life. The fracturing is so disruptive it even penetrates the water table. One of the most memorable scenes from the movie is Josh and a rural Colorado man holding a lighter next to a home sink faucet. After a few seconds, a huge burst of flame engulfs the lighter, natural gas has seeped into the water table and is now coming out our faucets.
Polluted wells, sick landowners, contaminated streams and dead livestock.
The drilling is occurring all over the country. Landowners are being bribed and regulators are elusive. The money to be made from selling the natural gas outweighs the environment devastation done, gas companies are no better or worse off if wells in a drilling area become undrinkable, or cattle become sick and die.
Gas company officials will point out that hydrofracturing has been occurring for over 60 years, Technically, this is true, but the particular type of fracturing used to extract gas from shale, high volume slick water hydrofracturing is well under 10 years old, and invokes a deadly cocktail of chemicals. The fact that companies are allowed to pump this deadline cocktail into the ground all over the country is simply a matter of ignorance on the public’s part. With no sufficient oversight or regulation, a company like EOG Resources (EOG) will always use the easiest and most effective methods, even if it destroys the area and poisons our entire ecosystem.