Fracking: Bringing Water Pollution To a Town Near You!

In a recent article from the timesunion.com, a news site covering Albany, NY and surrounding towns, gas industry executives claim that their work poses no threat to clean water sources.

Obviously, this is far from the truth. A shining example, that the article mentioned, can be found in nearby Dimock, PA. Residents have been coping with water pollution so severe that in some places the water can be lit on fire due to the large concentrations of methane that it contains. This town has become the victim of a gas boom in the area.

methane in water

It’s quite insidious to realize the extent that gas companies will go to for this fuel source. For example, a common means for extracting gas from shale rock is called horizontal hydraulic fracturing. In this process, water that has been laced with chemicals is used to break up the shale to release gas. So, not only is the act of breaking this shale contributing to water pollution, these companies are delivering toxic water right into well water supplies.

So what has been the reaction from the local authorities? According to the article, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection basically has said that the problem has been fixed regarding the recent pollution issues. Was this issue resolved or was someone payed off? What’s the most likely answer to that question?

Residents of many cities in New York have much to be concerned about as it appears that the gas industry has been given the green light to proceed on drilling. This is no surprise, really. Money talks. Extra revenue in the present will trump any concerns about future environmental costs. When will government and business leaders realize that they can’t put short term profit ahead of something as vitally important as clean water?

What does this mean for the future of our drinking water sources? How much worse must this situation get before our leaders make some real changes for the better? Yes, we need our fuel and energy as much as anything else. However, we can find ways to get the fuel we need in much more environmentally friendly ways.