McLean County: Do not allow fracking

McLean County: Do not allow fracking by Caitlin Perry, November 25, 2012, Daily Vidette, Illinois State University
Vertical and horizontal wells are drilled into the ground and millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and highly toxic chemicals are injected into the wells. This mixture is injected with an intense pressure, which creates fractures in the rocks, allowing natural gas to escape. The fracking process has a long history and a lot of controversy surrounding it. While hydraulic fracturing itself isn’t new, it has recently developed into a larger, and more detrimental, process. Unfortunately, the fracking industry is looking to start drilling here in McLean County. I had known about fracking for a while, having seen the documentary “Gasland.” But it wasn’t until I interned at the Ecology Action Center last summer that I really learned about it. During my time there, I was asked to research fracking and write an article detailing the local and federal regulations that pertained to it. I was shocked to find that Illinois does not have strong legislation that prohibits fracking from destroying our land. There are many threats that come with fracking, the biggest being the risk of contamination. Hundreds of toxic chemicals are injected into the wells, and according to the Illinois People’s Action website, 29 of these chemicals “are known or possible human carcinogens [and] hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.” Why would we want to be around these dangerous chemicals? There is also the risk for natural gas to leak through the wells and pollute the local groundwater.

If you’re still not convinced about the devastating effects of fracking, consider this: When companies begin drilling, they drill hundreds of wells to extract the gas. The amount of water that is needed for only 73 wells would completely drain Lake Bloomington.

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