The GlobalFrackdown website and campaign was developed by Food & Water Watch, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit that was once part of Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen group. The campaign claims that fracking “has already damaged communities and ruined lives. It pollutes water and makes people sick.”
The immense volumes of natural gas found in formations of shale rock around the country has spurred a boom in natural gas production that has been credited with creating jobs and lowering prices for industry and consumers.
The Frackdown campaign doesn’t mention the differing opinions over risks or any benefits of fracking.
Shale is a rock formation thousands of feet underground. Among its largest U.S. deposits are the Marcellus Shale, under parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia, and the Barnett Shale is in north Texas. Geologists knew shale contained gas, but for more than 100 years the industry focused on shallower reserves. Fracking — also called hydraulic fracturing — allows drillers to profitably extract the deep shale gas.
Contaminated wastewater from the process can leak from faulty well casings into aquifers, but it’s often difficult to prove a connection. Some studies also have shown air quality problems around gas wells, while others have indicated no problems. (Wash Post, 9/21/2012)