The case against fracking

The case against fracking by Sharon Wilson, August 11, 2012, Special to the American Statesman
Why are we letting fracking take the water we desperately need for farmers and ranchers? The Texas Water Development Board predicted that by 2010, 33 percent — 1 in every 3 gallons — of Parker County water would go to natural gas development. In Texas, frack water that returns to the surface is injected into disposal wells where it is forever removed from the active hydrological cycle. This disposal process has been scientifically linked to earthquakes. Industry not only fights even the most common-sense regulations, but also blocks our ability to gain data needed to keep communities safe. Many sick people living near drilling operations haven’t been conclusively diagnosed because of the lack of data. There has been almost no research analyzing health effects of air emissions or fracking chemicals. Many cash settlements have been paid by the industry for lawsuits over fouled water; such settlements carry nondisclosure agreements shielding information from public scrutiny. All records, including environmental testing and medical records, are sealed and kept from scientists, reporters and decisionmakers — allowing the industry to perpetuate claims that fracking doesn’t pollute drinking water.

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