Problems around Fracking Continue To Be Flushed Out

Jul 21, 2011
By Beth Gunston

This year hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, made its debut in headlines across America.  Even though fracking has occurred for decades, the expansion of the practice and the understanding of public health impacts have only recently come to light to the general public.

Fracking is the practice of extracting gas and oil from deep in the bowels of the earth by pumping in large volumes of pressurized water mixed with a concoction of toxic chemicals.  The laundry list of chemicals that can be used is frightening:

And the list goes on.

Here's a video that shows how these toxic chemicals work their way into our environment, including our drinking water and air.

Reserves of oil and gas that were once thought to be too deep and difficult to be worth tapping into are now being drained through fracking.  Even urban communities like Los Angeles and Long Beach are at risk. 

While some praise fracking as a solution to satisfying our ever increasing appetite for fossil fuel and a way to wean our nation off of foreign energy, the serious health and environmental impacts are only beginning to be realized.  And because of industry-friendly legal loopholes, we may never know how much exposure to toxic chemicals we are being subjected to since fracking companies are not required to disclose what chemicals they are using, nor where they are fracking.   

Some communities around the nation are wising up to the problems of fracking as they trace the source of public health crises back to exposure to fracking chemicals that worked their way into water.  Currently, a number of states are considering bans and restrictions, while others have already succeeded. 

Even in oil-loving Texas a law was passed this week requiring fracking companies to disclose what chemicals they use.  Unfortunately, the companies being regulated used their pressure to water down the law.   We can’t let the same happen here!

Sacramento lawmakers have a chance to make a smart choice for the health of all Californians by mandating the disclosure of basic information around fracking practices.  Assembly Bill 591 would specifically make companies disclose the chemicals they use, the amount of water they’re pumping, and where they are fracking.

The fracking industry is fighting to weaken AB 591 so that it has no teeth.  We can’t let what happened in Texas happen here, too.  Please take a moment to contact your State Senator and ask him/her to support AB 591 in its current form.




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