Imagine stepping into the shower to find brown water. Imagine boiling water, only the water in your pot is tainted. This has become the reality to many victims of fracking.
Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” is a process to release natural gas by drilling or injecting fluid into the ground at high pressure. Sounds good, right, we’re getting natural gas.
Only it’s not. Our Congress established that a company that is fracking is exempt from the Clean Water Act. Essentially, these companies have free reign. They can contaminate water all they want and get no retribution for it, for, technically speaking, they are not breaking the law. The issue is that when the natural gas comes up, mixing with the fluid used to get it, some of these chemicals leak into water supplies, then being distributed to nearby communities. Fracking has its benefits. Fracking allows the obtaining of natural gasses, but companies need to be checking this water ensure safety.
Already, a lack in safety of water quality due to these companies that are fracking being exempt from the Clean Water Act has been apparent. In Colorado, a local resident put a lighter up to his faucet and the water, contaminated with fossil fuel residue and countless chemicals, set on fire. People’s livestocks are dropping are dropping like flies. People in states such as Colorado, Delaware, and Pennsylvania are forced to buy outside water sanitation devices. All of these stated instances were proven results of contamination due to fracking.
So, how did our government allow such a dangerous thing? Two words: Halliburton Loophole.
In 2005, the Bush/Cheney Energy Bill exempted companies from revealing the chemicals used during fracking. This was said to be because if these companies revealed their mixture of chemicals used, other companies could use this same mixture, ultimately increasing competition among companies.
In 2005, the Bush/Cheney Energy Bill exempted companies from revealing the chemicals used during fracking. This was said to be because if these companies revealed their mixture of chemicals used, other companies could use this same mixture, ultimately increasing competition among companies. Was the Bush/Cheney Energy Bill passed because it was what the government truly thought was best or because of hidden agendas? Bush did have a great deal invested in Halliburton. Whether the passing of this bill was due to senators with hidden agendas (mainly their own involvement in these companies: wanting to make more money and avoid the ‘hassle’ of checking water) or simply something that was overlooked, the fact remains: this needs to be fixed.
The common man is suffering so that big companies can avoid a small inconvenience. Fracking is not really the issue here. The issue is that these companies are not required to test the water after fracking to see if any of the chemicals used have leaked into and ultimately contaminated the water.
Luckily, states are catching on to the dangers of fracking. Some states, such as Wyoming have implemented their own laws regarding fracking. In Wyoming any company that wishes to frack must check the water prior and after the natural gas is obtained to ensure water quality. New York recently put their food down as well, prohibiting fracking in their state all together. Still, most states in the country are allowing fracking with no provisions. Where does this leave the common man? Subject to polluted water.
Clean water is a basic necessity, a necessity no less that every citizen should have access to. The exemption of this basic necessity is unacceptable.