Fracking up the Environment

by Arimoore (http://www.flickr.com/photos/arimoore/)

Water is the most relied upon resource in the world. Without water, our planet would be a rocky wasteland empty of life. We depend upon this resource to provide life. Knowing this, why do we continuously waste and dump poisons into our quickly vanishing, life giving blood that flows through our planet? Many companies destroy underground water systems right in front of the public’s eyes, and we don’t even know it’s happening. We see the trucks every day that carry these chemicals to and from natural gas wells, where it is then pumped into the ground to break up rock deep in the ground using a process called hydraulic fracturing.

Hydraulic fracturing is the process in which natural gas drillers break up shale deep down in the earth in order to reach previously unattainable natural gas pockets that are sometimes over seven thousand feet below the earth’s crust. In order to achieve this, hundreds of trucks bring water and sand to natural gas wells all over the state. However, water and sand are not the only things being pumped into the wells. A barrage of chemicals is also being pumped into the earth. Some are known and others remain a mystery to everyone but the companies that supplied them. Many of these known chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde are known carcinogens or cancer causing substances. The reason many of these chemicals remain anonymous is because the oil and gas companies found a loophole in the clean water act, signed in 2005, that allowed companies to not to have to disclose information concerning fracking and what goes into it.

So where do all of these mystery chemicals end up? Many stay deep in the earth’s crust and are slowly filtered out through many layers of sediment until they are virtually undetectable in the water table. But what about the chemicals that find their way into underground water reservoirs that the species of earth depend upon so very much? The answer; is right into the very faucet you and I drink out of every day. Sure most of our water is filtered in a water treatment plant and deemed safe to drink, but what about the people that live in rural communities and get there water from wells that have been safe to consume for years until now? So the real question is not whether this will affect us in the future but whether or not were going to stop letting oil and gas companies continue to poison us right under our noses today?

For more information visit:

http://www.propublica.org/series/fracking

http://www.propublica.org/special/hydraulic-fracturing-national

http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulesregs/sdwa/

http://www.energyjustice.net/naturalgas

http://www.denverpost.com/politics/ci_17905497

~ Jacob Lybrook

Finally Starting to Care

Power Lines

EC File Photo

We have been in an energy crisis for a long time now. It is about time that we put in place some new plans about what to do.

News From Indian Country reported that solar power is starting to make its move on the traditional oil and gas companies that are in this area. Ever since petroleum was found in this area the oil and gas companies have been pillaging the land that we love so dearly. It is nice to see that people are finally going to wake up and change to a clean and efficient form of energy.

We cannot just switch to one method of energy, and as we start switching to more sustainable forms of energy we need to learn as much about these new forms as possible. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that, “Utah will be getting $16.6 million in grants for energy conservation and research into geothermal energy and carbon capture.” A portion of that money is going to go to Utah State University for energy research. That is a great way to spend this money, if we do not know what we are going to change to then it definitely will not happen.

The Vail Daily reported that the people of Pitkin and Eagle counties voted for a program designed to help out with investing in renewable energy and renewable energy projects. It is nice to see these communities come together and care enough to spend this money, totaling about $7 million, on such good causes.

If we do not start the ball rolling on these energy issues we will be too late to do anything about them. These three articles show that people are starting to care. Without your vote we will not be able to get the projects in place, so when you have a chance get out there and show your support for a greener tomorrow.

– Royce Johnson