Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The term frack became a cult favorite with the most recent BattleStar Galactica series. It replaced a more vulgar term and a way to swear - without actually cursing.

It turns out that fracking has had more earth-shattering consequences than first thought. I am talking about the gas/oil extraction process where highly pressured water, sand and chemicals are blasted deep into the ground to fracture rock to obtain oil and natural gas.

The process has created a cheap source of natural gas in the United States but it has not been without it's critics. There has been a great deal of concern that hydraulic fracturing is impacting water tables. I have seen dozens of pictures of folks lighting their tap water after well have been contaminated by gas. These environmental issues are beginning to pile-up making the public realize that all water is connected and perhaps some things are more valuable than money.

The latest side-effect would make Lex Luther jealous. A couple of studies point to the process as the cause of earthquakes!

The U.S. Geological Survey will release a study today that states a "remarkable" increase of quakes in the U.S. midcontinent since 2001 is "almost certainly" the result of oil and gas production. A report released earlier this week in England confirmed that fracking can cause earthquakes. The study, done in a fault, reported that fracking can be done responsibly in earthquake zones. The government commisoned report suggested that fracking be halted temporarily if there is a tremor greater than magnitude 0.5 on the Richter scale.

 The documentary "Gasland," shows residents of small town Colorado setting alight tap water they say was soured by nearby oil industry activity.  The documentary paints a vivid picture of  toxic streams, ruined aquifers, dying livestock, brutal illnesses, and kitchen sinks that burst into flame.

1 comment:

Tony said...

Officially, it is Frak, not Frack (when referring to the BSG meaning).

Lots of really interesting (and scary) info out there about fracking/fracturing for the extraction of hydrocarbons!