The Word of the Day: Fracking

Guess what? One of the most popular search terms on Yahoo recently was… FRACKING!

Fracking is all the buzz lately. Unfortunately, this is one hat that is not going to sell out any time soon.

Recently, Time magazine hopped on the scoop with an article entitled, “Could Shale Gas Power the World?” The author talks about some of the positives of shale gas development, including its potential to create jobs domestically and provide a domestic fuel source.

However, the other side of the coin is also presented where water contamination, exemption from regulations, lack of enforcement, and potential harm to the water supply for millions of people is apparent. One thing the article does not mention is the massive amount of water that will be required to extract all of the gas. Clearly this is not a cut-and-dry situation.

One of these issues is explored further in an article from the Associated Press, which discusses the lack of permit review for natural gas wells in Pennsylvania due to the inadequate number of reviewers. They are not even considering that a project may impact a nearby river, such as the Upper Delaware, America’s Most Endangered River of 2010! They do not consider that the Upper Delaware is protected under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, or that the state has officially designated it as High Quality. These protections mean nothing in the world of natural gas permitting. That is just the start of the problem.

And then…you may have heard other reports this week about the potential greenhouse gas impact of natural gas, or maybe you even saw the Susquehanna River bubbling on CBS News.

I guess that is why FRACKING is causing such a stir. In that case, KEEP TALKING ABOUT IT! I know we will be! The Upper Delaware and Monongahela are not the only rivers in the country that are threatened by natural gas extraction after all!

So tell me, what do you think about fracking? Are you seeing it in your community?