Fracking: Poisoning our Water for Profit

Corporations are increasingly destroying the earth in order make their profits. The latest technique is something called fracking. It’s a destructive way of drilling for natural gas, where highly pressurized liquid chemicals are forced into rocks underground, causing the rock to shatter, releasing the natural gas inside. In the process, it poisons the groundwater with waste chemicals and natural gas. In the past five years there have been 75,000 fracking sites set up in over 30 states across the U.S.

Rewriting the Laws

  • Since 1990, the natural gas and oil companies have pumped $238.7 million into political campaigns on the state and federal level. In return, the politicians don’t ask questions about the results of fracking.

  • Last week the House of Representatives passed the so-called “Stop the War on Coal” bill which re-writes the Clean Air Act, loosening air and water quality standards and allowing coal and gas companies to poison the water without punishment.

The Dangers of Fracking

  • More than 596 toxic chemicals are forced into the ground to fracture the rocks. These chemicals enter the water that people drink, causing cancer and brain damage, and even making the water flammable.

  • In the Monogahela Valley in Pennsylvania, 850,000 residents had undrinkable, flammable tap water.

  • In another incident, Cabot Oil & Gas moved into Dimock PA to drill for gas. The residents found their tap water turned brown, and their livestock began to die. 8000 gallons of toxic fracking chemicals were spilled. Children would pass out in the shower as toxic fumes escaped from the water.

  • Fracking is using up water that should be available for drinking water or agriculture. In the last year alone, fracking wells have gone from using 70 billion gallons of water to 140 billion gallons of water.

  • Fracking causes earthquakes. The high-pressure water injected into the earth causes the ground to shift. Last year, earthquakes in midwestern states where fracking is practiced have doubled.

Who Profits from Fracking?

  • Who is benefiting from this? Fracking is a growing industry. It made $76 billion in profits in 2010, and now makes up 25% of U.S. natural gas production.

  • Last year Exxon made $41 billion in profits, half of which comes from its natural gas production including fracking.

Profits or a Future?

These corporations have poisoned our water, re-written the laws, and are poisoning thousands of Americans in their desperate search for profits. If this conversion of nature into profit continues, the water that millions of people depend on could be permanently poisoned. Even the fact that fracking causes earthquakes hasn’t stopped the corporations from continuing their operations. As these corporations continue to destroy our world for profit, they are making the planet we depend on unlivable.