So, what is fracking and why is it an environmental nightmare?
Hydraulic fracturing, best known as “fracking,” is a technique of drilling. Drillers inject high-pressure liquid to fracture underground rock and extract oil or gas.
Fracking allows drillers to access oil and gas that’s difficult to get. It also is driving climate change.
Fracking requires tremendous amounts of water. Transporting water to the site contributes to emissions and strains water supplies.
The water mixture used includes various chemicals and can also cause contamination. Companies are largely not required to disclose what chemicals are used.
Earthquakes & tremors
During both the process and in disposing wastewater, fracking can cause earthquakes. In both cases, the fluid injections are increasing pressure within the fractures and faults.
Fracking is linked to methane spikes in the atmosphere, which is a powerful greenhouse gas. Methane heats up the planet 80x more than CO2. However, methane is converted to CO2 as it combines with oxygen.
Public Land & Politics
Unfortunately, Biden doesn’t have a solid stance on fracking. His campaign clarified the former vice president would eliminate subsidies and opposes new fracking. At this week’s debate, Biden said the focus is moving towards clean, renewable energy.
Furthermore, our governments can do much more to regulate, starting with restricting drilling access on public lands. Preserving the environment, from way underground all the way to the stratosphere, is critical.
Vote. Follow up with your representatives. Call your climate science-denying relatives. We have a long way to go and we have to do it together.