Fracking 101: Calling on “Mothers of the Earth” to Mobilize!

Save Our farm
Save Our Farms! We need clean water, clean air and clean soil for clean and healthy food   production! What is “fracking” and why Call for “Mothers of The Earth” to Mobilize Against it?

Fracking is the colloquial term for high volume (or slick water) hydraulic frackuring.
The Oil and Gas industry generally claims to have used fracking, as it is being used today! – for many years without incident, but this is not true. The type of fracking currently being used is different from what was previously used by the industry.

It is a relatively new untested technology that uses thousands of gallons of fresh water mixed with sand and chemicals some of which are carcinogenic, to release the gas from the shale rock deep within the earth. This process involves injecting chemically laced water, known as “fracking fluid and sand under high pressure into the shale rock to break it apart and release the gas.

The differences are quite important: not only because of the use of chemicals and large volumes of fresh drinking water but because the drilling moves horizontally along a compact layer of shale rock, rather then vertically into the ground as one would drill for oil. This shale rock is present all of over the world and in large quantities only  in some states in America.

Fracking Destroys Potable Drinking Water!
Peculiar to the process of fracking and one of its more “controversial” aspects is its use of large volumes of fresh water. The potable drinking water is taken out of the hydrological cycle. It is  rendered it into a type of waste water that is difficult if not impossible to dispose of.

Consumptive Water Use Dimock PA

Fresh Water Use Dimock, PA

As you will see in the introductory film, the disposal of this waste water returns to the surface of the earth not only with the original “fracking fluids” but with radioactive materials drawn from deep within the earth. This leads to a contamination process that extends far beyond the physical boundaries of the actual well. In addition too the initial compound of unknown chemicals the radioactive materials that return to the surface of the earth create a major disposal problem that is being dealt with an a variety of ways across the state boundaries of the shale rock sites. How and where waste water is disposed of depends upon the particular geology of these states. Waste Water (link)

How Fracking Contaminates Fresh Water Aquifers
Although the industry denies that fresh water aquifers are not penetrated during the drilling process numerous accounts of ground water contamination have been reported. Most significant are the findings by the EPA in Wyoming where carcinogens directly identified with known chemicals in the fracking fluid have contaminated the aquifers. The health impacts from ground water contamination have been established in many anecdotal reports from citiizens where fracking has been wide spread and unregulated by any Federal, State of Local laws currently in place.

Gasland, the award-winning documentary on the subject has had a profound influence in informing the public as to the many incidences  of ground water contamination. The film has become an organizing tool for the anti-fracking movement around the world. A new video, by the same film maker The Sky is Pink provides us with the industry’s own facts: a central point in this short video that explains how the acquifers are penetrated is show through the industry’s own statistics on the rate of failure of “casings’ .  This failure alllows the gas to leak into and permanently destroy  aquifers. For one, the casings that are intended to prevent the flow of gas from escaping into the aquifers are made of cement, a porous and degradable material.

Cementing is the obvious “weak link,” in an article by Anthony Gorody, a hydrogeologist and consultant to gas companies who has been a defender of fracking: “If you do a poor job of installing the well casing, you potentially open a pathway for the stuff to flow out,” explains ecologist and water resource expert Robert B. Jackson of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Although many regulations govern well cementing and although industry has strived to improve its practices, the problem may not be fully fixable. “A significant percentage of cement jobs will fail,” Ingraffea says. “It will always be that way. It just goes with the territory.”

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How Fracking contaminates The Air We Breath
In process, stay tuned!
Fracking Threatens The Food Supply In process, stay tuned!

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The Precationary Principle,
The Warrier
and The Grandmother

 Our guiding ethic in protecting the next generations is to use the “Precautionary Principle”. What is the Precautionary Principle? – and how can it be applied to public concerns about fracking . How is  the precautionary principle applied in objecting to the world’s continued development and use of all fossil fuels as a main source of energy. The principle can best be summarized as follows:
When an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.”
The idea is rather simple and rests on common sense! When sustaining any part of our environment necessary for life, and when human health is at risk on a large scale it should not be necessary to wait for scientific proof to take protective actions.

Carolyn Rafensperger explains this principle with respect to public health. Here she is speaking about the role of government and the Precautionary Principle and how we can and protect the resources of our common weatlh.   The anti fracking movement has largely been about protecting public health and the future generations. In many ways, the anti-fracking movement has tried to invoke the precatonary principle but political and governmental forces have joined  together with the industry’s powerful corporations and have prevented the public from acting on behalf of their own health and survival of the next generations. See Principles of Perpetual Care

The  Oil and Gas Industry has engaged in dishonest and unscrupulous tactics to “hide” the truth from the public. In collusion with State and Federal Governments, it has betrayed the public trust and certainly has not had the precautionary principle in mind. In Pennsylvania the State government has put into law the unconscionable! It has placed a “gag” order on doctors making it “illegal” for them determine what chemicals their patients’ may have been subjected to that would account for their symptoms. On the Federal level fracking remains exempt from major portions of the Clean Water, Clean Air Act and Super Fund laws. In Ohio and Pennsylvania the State governments have enacted legislation that removes the “zoning” laws put in place by communities who have decided against fracking, While  in New York  the Governor hopes to capitalize on the concept of “home rule” by allowing fracking to occur within communities that want fracking but without regard for the individual families and children in these communities who will be harmed. Both state and federal governments have failed to use the precautionary principle to protect the public and the public for the most part has remained silent.

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