In order to know why we care about fracking so much, first you have to know what it is.

 

Fracking is the popular nickname for Hydraulic Fracturing,  a controversial method of extracting natural gas from deep underground. The reason it is considered so controversial is that it uses a technique that first drills vertically, through our water aquifers and many layers of rock, and then it continues horiztontally below the shale gas reserves, which are also below the fresh water reserves, wildlife, people's houses and farms. Once they have drilled the well, massive quantities of fresh water are mixed with salt and chemicals--most of them poisonous, and then injected at high pressure into the well. This pressure, the salt and chemicals cause the rock to shatter upward along the horizontal path of the well and when it does, it creates fissures that release the gas into the well but also potentially up into the aquifer. The poisoned water trapped in the gas well is mostly pumped back out, where it is "supposed to be" safely disposed, and then the gas is extracted from the reserves. From here the gas is shipped out to its markets (doemstic and now overseas) by pipleines that cut through hundreds of miles of forests, farms, waterways and neighborhoods, causing various levels of destruction and pollution all along its path. This produces loads of money for the gas industry, but leaves the communities and ecosystems poisoned and trampled in its wake. 

The dangers of fracking are now so well scientifically documented, and so threatening to our environment, health and climate that countries around the world are quickly banning it completely - France, Germany, Scotland and more... Last year New York and Maryland banned it too, and although there is currently a moratorium on it in the Delaware River Basin, but the fact remains that the state of Pennsylvania is poised to be the largest extraction state in the world and this will risk all of our water.  We at Peace-Youth refuse to let that happen!  

 

Some of the Environmental Impacts of Fracking include:

  • Loss of precious fresh clean water (on average 5 million gallons of water are used per well);

  • Disaster for ground water quality - drinking water has been tainted with hydrofracking chemicals, radioactive and highly toxic wastewater, along with waste solids and residuals that results from the well development process;

  • Surface Water pollution, erosion, and stream segregation from stormwater runoff;

  • Habitat and ecosystem destruction and disruption from the fracking and its massive infrastructure that includes pipelines, compressor stations, dangerous underground storage facilities and more; 

  • Air pollution from methane and other gases, VOCs and other volatile materials; which accelerates climate change, causes illness to those around it;

  • Noise and light pollution, heavy truck traffic, influx of out-of state male workers and road impacts;

  • Earthquakes!!! (lots of them)

  • Property right infringements - they are taking people's land by Eminent Domain and predatory easement purchases.

  • Farms report loss of crops and sick and dying animals.   

                                                 
Inadequate regulation of the gas and oil industry at every level allows these impacts to occur, burdening communities and the environment. As shale gas drilling (another name for fracking) comes closer to encroaching on the Delaware River Watershed, public concerns are growing for the safety of water supplies, air quality, the natural environment and communities. The 17 million people who rely on the Delaware River for water, including New York City, Philadelphia and millions of residents of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware combined will all be directly effected if the water resources of this high quality river are degraded.  

Communities across Pennsylvania where gas drilling is already increasing at a frenzied pace are experiencing high hospitalization rates and increased incidents of miscarriage in surrounding communities, terrifying accidents, gas well blowouts and explosions, frack pit leaks (onto their farm lands!), water well contamination (cows, horses, pigs and sheep are dying in droves), stream degradation and ruined farms and towns. We can't let this happen here--we cannot sacrifice our water and environment to gas companies.

Information is power and an informed public is our best defense. People and communities are organizing and fighting back, learn how to get involved.The more you know, the more you will want to join us! And the better equipped you are to fight what’s coming down your road!