America’s fracking problem
A controversial form of natural gas extraction is on the rise in the US.
Al Jazeera English | The Stream
January 26, 2012
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Hydraulic fracturing – also known as fracking – is the process of pumping water and chemicals underground to fracture rocks and release natural gas.
In the United States, there is a heated debate over the safety of these practices and whether they are hazardous to the environment and public health.
Activists say fracking is contaminating the ground water supply and reducing air quality. But fracking proponents, including US President Barack Obama, argue that increased natural gas exploration could reduce America’s dependence on oil while creating thousands of jobs.
Fracking has spread to other countries including Canada and others are considering the method to tap into natural gas reserves. So far, two EU countries – France and Bulgaria – have banned fracking, citing environmental and health concerns.
In this episode of The Stream, we speak to Chris Tucker, spokesman at Energy in Depth (@EnergyinDepth) and Abrahm Lustgarten (@AbrahmL) an environmental reporter from ProPublica.
What do you think? Is the growing appetite for natural gas energy putting America’s environment at risk? Send us your thoughts and comments on Facebook or Twitter using hashtag #AJStream.