There is so much fracking going on in the US right now that shale mines are burning off enough gas to power all the homes in Chicago and Washington combined, with a method that is freeing us from dependence on foreign oil but is causing growing concern about damage to the environment. Are some of the "booms" we’re hearing caused by this process?
You may not know it, but you’re probably drinking recycled water right now. But water from "Fracking?" The process uses as much water as the entire cities of Chicago or Houston, but can it be made safe to drink?
It takes between 70 and 140 BILLION gallons of water to frack 35,000 wells a year at the industry’s current pace.
While the recycled water can’t be cleaned up enough for drinking or growing crops, it can be cleaned of chemicals an rock debris and used to frack additional wells, which could sharply cut the costs that energy companies face securing and disposing of the water.
Fracking not only uses chemicals that can contaminate drinking and groundwater, it also releases large amounts of natural radioactivity from the ground into the air, ¬including Radium-226, which has a half-life of 1,600 years.
America is becoming the new Saudi Arabia, turning from an oil-consuming nation into a power producing nation. When Obama was elected, we were importing almost two-thirds of its oil. That number is down to below almost half and is still falling. What caused this? Fracking.
In the July 16th edition of the Financial Times, Edward Luce writes: "Those 5 million ‘green-collar jobs’ Mr. Obama once promised have been quietly forgotten. Most of America’s new jobs are on (gas) drilling rigs in places such as North Dakota, New Mexico and Ohio."