New rules from the Obama administration help the fight against fracking.
We must be fracking crazy in the United States, chasing all of this natural gas and oil to keep fueling our nasty energy habits. Energy companies have been clamoring to setup drill sites; pumping all sorts of toxic chemicals in the earth to extract fossil fuels, at a rate so fast that the natural gas market is actually hurting from the mass production. The primary concern from many residents and environmentalists is that the fluid pumped deep into the earth during the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) process is contaminating the groundwater. While the fluid is 98 percent water, the remaining 2 percent is filled with over 630 different chemicals, some known carcinogens, creating a toxic soup of fracking wastewater.
It is hard to fight what you can’t see, this is the point many environmentalist have been making as they try to get the energy companies to release what chemicals are used in their fracking fluids. Until recently, the companies had no legal reason to share this information, thus they simply ignored the requests and continued to pollute the aquifers. That is until the Obama administration stepped in and proposed a new set of rules requiring companies to disclose the chemicals when drilling on public land.
According to a Huffington Post report, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said “as we continue to offer millions of acres of America’s public lands for oil and gas development, it is critical that the public have full confidence that the right safety and environmental protections are in place.”
Many call the measures too little too late, since the rules would only require the oil and gas companies to disclose the chemical cocktails after fracking operations began, not before. Additionally, a majority of the fracking sites exist on private land and would be exempt from these proposed rules. They aren’t going to help anytime soon either, they are open for public comment for 60 days and if approved will likely go into effect late this year.
While energy independence is important for national security, there are many ways to achieve that goal. Renewable energy is an optimal pathway, just like more efficient cars or electric vehicles, each of these could help lessen our need for fossil fuels. Whatever we do, ruining the drinking water and poisoning our air will only cause more serious issues for generations to come. Do your part, reduce your energy consumption and try to help create a sustainable earth, then fracking won’t be a profitable venture any longer.