Select the search type
  • Site
  • Web
Search

Blog

Published on Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Controversy of Fracking

[STARTLING]

The Controversy of Fracking

The term fracking or hydraulic fracking refers to the practice of drilling into earth to release the natural gas inside. A mixture of water, sand and chemicals is injected into rocks at high pressures to create fractures that allow the natural gas to flow out of wells. The fracking industry has increased oil production and reduced gas prices in the US. The companies involved in the practice claim that it has opened up numerous job opportunities that revolve around the industry, it gave the US and Canada gas security for about 100 years, and it has also allowed for the possibility to generate electricity while producing half of the CO2 emissions produced by coal.


Although the use of fracking in the US has created a positive economic shift in the industry, the practice has also sparked a large number of controversies. Environmentalists are concerned about the water wasted and polluted by potential carcinogenic chemicals during the fracking process. Moreover, there are growing concerns of the possible links between fracking sites and earthquakes. Both Oklahoma and Blackpool in Lancashire have had earthquakes following some fracking activities, and both locations had confirmed the probable correlation to the fracking drilling nearby.


Additionally, In 2011 water taps in Pennsylvania began catching fire due to the leaking of methane into the water. These amongst many other reasons have caused a large controversy around the practice of fracking. Environmentalist believe that the investment in this industry must be stopped and redirected towards renewable energy sources.


In addition to environmental concerns, fracking sites themselves have been linked to many health issues in the surrounding areas. The Natural Resources Defense Council has stated that fracking can cause respiratory illnesses and possibly cancer. A recent study has confirmed that infants born at close proximity to fracking sites can suffer from growth problems.

How Fracking Can Impact The Growth of an Infant

A new study published in the journal Science Advances revealed that babies born to mothers living close to fracking sites in Pennsylvania had a higher risk towards being born with adverse health problems. Michael Greenstone, a co-author of the study and the director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, said in a press release, “As local and state policymakers decide whether to allow hydraulic fracturing in their communities, it is crucial that they carefully examine the costs and benefits… This study provides the strongest large-scale evidence of a link between the pollution that stems from hydraulic fracturing activities and…the health of babies.”


More than 1.1 million cases from different increasing distances to the fracking sites were studied and analyzed between 2004 and 2013. The results revealed that the infants of women living within three kilometers from a fracking site were more susceptible to health problems. Moreover, the infants of mothers living within one kilometer of a fracking site had a 25 percent likeliness of being born weighing less than 5.5 pounds. The number of African American women and their proximity to a fracking site was also factored into the research. The results revealed that black mothers were more likely to live close to a fracking site which increases the risk of health issues impacting their children. The authors mentioned that “this difference arises because over time, more wells were drilled near urban areas such as Pittsburgh, where higher numbers of African Americans live,”

Methane Leaking in British Columbia

A report revealing that almost fifty fracking gas sites near northeast BC were leaking methane was released after being withheld from the public for four years. The report also named 900 other fracking locations that could potentially be leaking methane as well. Ben Parfitt, a resource policy analyst with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, says “It is deeply troubling that BC’s energy industry regulator kept this report secret. Why did it not tell the public? Why, as the OGC now alleges, did it also not share the report with Cabinet ministers who have responsibility for the energy industry? We need answers and a full public inquiry is the best way to get them.”

This was the second time the OGC was under serious questioning in the same year. The OGC were allowing over a dozen fracking wells to be built and operated without engineering safety specifications or water licences. The David Suzuki Foundation, the CCPA and many more organizations were coming together to call for an in-depth investigation into the fracking industry and its impact on the environment surrounding it.

Larry Barzelai, head of the BC chapter of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, said “a 2012 study demonstrated increased incidences of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in people living in northeastern BC, and a 2017 study showed high levels of benzene in pregnant women living in that region. This increases the risk of leukemia in their children. How much longer will we continue to compromise the health of our citizens by allowing the fracking industry to proliferate?”


Rate this article:
No rating
Comments ()Number of views (148)

Author: AThompson

Categories: Blogs, Research, Energy & Power

Tags:

Print

Search Jobs

Calender

«January 2018»
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
25
1779

Climate Change & The Poor: A Toxic Relationship

The impacts of climate change are undoubtedly affecting the world on a global scale. However, its effects are far more pronounced among the poor.

Read more
26
1780

Pre-Historic Ticks

Ticks are some of the most aggravating parasites today but they've been around for millions of years - even long enough to feed on the blood of dinosaurs.

Read more
27
1781

'The Cove' Nine Years Later

You may remember the uproar surrounding The Cove almost a decade ago. Today, the fishing community at the heart of the film has finally spoken up. 

Read more
28
1782

Saving A Life

Watch this amazing footage of the rescue of a drowned puppy and the ingenuity, persistence, and passion of the man who saved it.

Read more
29
1783

Winter Enviro-friendly Tips

This is the time of year for family, food, and holiday cheer. But it's also the season that produces the most waste. Here's how to get green over the holidays.

Read more
30
1784

A Mesmerizing Flock

Have a look at this visually hypnotizing footage of one of nature's most arresting phenomenons - the flight of the flock of starlings. A gorgeous sight to behold!

Read more
31
1785

The Controversy of Fracking

Fracking is in fact dangerous. Recent study proves that infants in areas surrounding fracking sites may suffer from permanent health effects and growth problems.

Read more
1
1786

An Unobstructed Look Inside The Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA has long stood as one of the most powerful defenders of the health and safety of the environment and safety standards. A lot has changed. 

Read more
2
1787

Master of Deception

Few living species can match the powers of deception and stealth quite like the amazing Zodrian spider - known for wearing the carcasses of their victims.

Read more
3
1788

The Digital Impact: Bitcoin's Carbon Footprint

Bitcoin is becoming one of the most quickly growing cryptocurrencies today. But this new form of payment is more costly for the environment than you may think. 

Read more
4
1789

Animals That Fit On Your Finger

There are few things as adorable and heartwarming as pint-sized pets. Here are just some of the most popular ones available today.

Read more
5
1790

Amazing Fungus Breaks Down Plastic Within a Few Weeks

No doubt about it, plastics are amazing. But they're also particularly bad for the environment as they're tough to break down. A new study has a solution - fungus. 

Read more
67
1791

Curious Bear Finds The Camera

Getting that perfect wildlife shot can be tough. That's why the BBC Earth team developed innovative spy cameras to catch each amazing moment, like the skiing cam. 

Read more
8
1792

Baby Sea Turtle Treadmills

Light pollution has become a serious problem of modern living. And for turtles, it's even worse. That's why scientists devised this unique and adorable experiment. 

Read more
9
1793

Consider This Before Your Next Virtual Shopping Trip

Online shopping has long been held in high regard as the more eco-friendly way to purchase. But e-commerce may actually be worse for our environment than you think.

Read more
10
1794

Traffic Stopped by Silverback Gorillas

Silverback gorillas are amazing and beautiful creatures to be sure. Watch as a troop is filmed literally stopping traffic crossing a crowded road. 

Read more
11
1795

China's Ivory Trade Ban: What It Means Going Forward

Elephant numbers have long been on the decline due to poaching for their tusks. But China's new ivory trade ban aims to curb that trend and protect these animals.

Read more
12
1796

Hungry Deer Meets Delicious Snowman

Tis the season for snowmen to start popping up on front lawns. But don't leave carrots out for too long or you might get a hungry wildlife visitor.

Read more
1314
1797

The Future of Power: Solar Windows

While solar technology is advancing at a breakneck pace, one innovation in the industry is set to change the way we collect power forever - solar windows. 

Read more
15
1798

Literally Swimming in Drugs

It's a tragedy that animals are trapped in our trash. But it's astounding that one turtle in particular was found wrapped up in over $53 million worth of cocaine.

Read more
16
1799

Whose Responsible for Your Dirty Water?

Clean drinking water is supposed to be a right of every citizen in the nation. However, this right is often violated - and it isn't getting any better.

Read more
17
1800

Global Warming & Cold Spells: What's the Connection?

When faced with bitter-cold weather, some people tend to think global warming isn't real. But in fact, global warming just may be the culprit behind dropping temps.

Read more
18
1801

Spiders: Ancient & Amazing

Spiders have been producing silk for literally hundreds of millions of years. Take a look at just why these creatures and the silk they produce are so amazing. 

Read more
19
1802

The Threat of Ocean Deoxygenation

We often hear of the widespread effects of pollution on the ocean and the life it holds. But there's another threat beneath the surface - ocean deoxygenation.

Read more
2021
22
1803

The Sun: An Introduction

The Sun is literally the source of life for everything on the planet earth. But what is that giant ball of light in the sky really? How does it work?

Read more
23
1804

Holding Their Feet to the Fire: Cities Across the Nation Sue Fossil Fuel Companies

Cities across the nation are banning together in a fight against the industry responsible - big oil - for a slew of destructive natural disasters and climate change.

Read more
2425262728
2930311234

Category

    Help Us Go Green
      
    Help Us Go Green