Fracking is the term given to a process of fracturing rock by injecting millions of gallons of high pressure water, sand, and toxic chemicals, to break apart rock formations and so release the trapped natural gas.
In the USA an article last June in Vanity Fair, “A Colossal Fracking Mess“, exposed how the process has devastated natural environments, rivers, and poisoned drinking water. “People’s water started turning brown and making them sick, one woman’s water well spontaneously combusted, and horses and pets mysteriously began to lose their hair.”
Not only that, but the very process of extracting the gas requires the use of large amounts of energy in itself: to manufacture the chemicals used and the plant equipment, plus diesel fuel to run the pumps!
When asked in December whether the government had any objections to the use of fracking in the UK, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change replied “The Department has no objection to the use of this technique so long as all of the relevant environmental and planning assessments have been carried out and permissions granted. I have had no discussions with my EU counterparts on the regulation of the use of hydraulic fracturing.”
I can see two ways forward.
Either sit back and hope they don’t start fracking near you.
Or, start investing in clear, environmentally friendly technologies. And exercise some self-control (in the form of insulation, fewer car and plane journeys) to reduce the amount of energy we use.
See also the movie, Gasland.