Don't buy the myths about fracking

05-Aug-2015

Fracking media coverage is a confused mess. One day there’s a news story implying that fracking is causing earthquakes or groundwater contamination. The next day there’s a different story asserting there’s no clear connection.

No wonder the Gallup Polling Co. recently found that an equal number, 40 percent, supported and opposed fracking.
One problem is that people, and especially reporters, frequently confuse fracking with wastewater injection.

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” has been around for decades. It’s a process whereby water, mixed largely with sand and a small amount of chemicals, is forced into shale rock located miles underground.

The mixture breaks up the shale and allows the trapped oil and natural gas to be extracted. Drillers then recapture that wastewater mixture and dispose of it deep in the ground, sometimes in a previously existing well, known as wastewater injection wells.

Whenever an earthquake happens, the public and the media immediately want to blame fracking. But there is no evidence that fracking causes earthquakes. During a spate of relatively minor earthquakes in Irving, Texas last winter, the media and public immediately assumed fracking was to blame. Only there was no active fracking close by. (by Merrill Matthews, Hutchinson Leader)