Why the Concern?
A steady stream of evidence from America and Australia, where Fracking is already extensively used, clearly illustrates this technique’s destructive consequences for local people and the environment. The main causes of concern include:
- Contamination of water sources with radioactive materials, toxic chemicals and methane. According to research by oil services company Schlumberger, around 50% of wells leak within 15 years, which poses a massive threat to local people and the surrounding landscape.”
- Chemical pollution from the toxic (and often carcinogenic) substances used in the process or leached from the seams. Benzene, Ethylene Glycol, Methanol, 2-Butoxyethanol & radioactive elements (e.g. Radium 226) are a few examples of what may end up leaking into the land and its water supplies.
- Earthquakes have been linked with fracking. The fracking of the first shale gas well Lancashire, England, caused several earthquakes and much larger quakes have been linked to frack waste disposal wells in the US.
- Food supply contamination via contaminated water, as farmers commonly use boreholes that draw water from aquifers. In the US and Australia, water drawn from boreholes in fracked areas has often become contaminated and occasionally flammable.
- Air pollution has been directly connected with Fracking, due to the production of ozone and leaks of volatile chemicals. Adverse health impacts have been recorded in the US and Australia.
- Most jobs are temporary and outsourced to specialists brought in from abroad, while other sectors such as agriculture and tourism are likely to be harmed.
- Industrialisation of the countryside would happen on a mass scale. Fracking will, for example, bring North Sea gas production into the rural heartlands of many European countries.
- Fracking is not a solution. The gas produced from fracking does not generally significantly reduce our dependency upon foreign gas, and will increase the amount of fossil fuels being burned at a time when we need to be drastically cutting back.