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Fracking Myths: Don’t Get Taken In

Written by Gary North on August 26, 2013

This article caught my eye.

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It’s probably safe to say that most Americans are unaware of what the term “fracking” means.  If you’ve heard of it, the details can be hard to pin down due to the controversy surrounding the method of gas extraction.  With mainstream movies like Gasland and The Promised Land on their side, those opposing fracking have easily buried the truth below layers of myths.  Fortunately, as we no longer live in a time when Hollywood and the left are the only media outlets, understanding what fracking truly entails is not completely lost.

Fracking, as it is commonly called, refers to a process of drilling and hydraulic fracturing to retrieve oil and natural gas trapped underground.  Water pressure pushes a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into shale rock, which causes fractures and allows the oil and natural gas to escape out of the well.

States that have embraced fracking have seen economic booms that have created thousands of jobs and the ability to flourish in an economy otherwise lacking.  For instance, in Pennsylvania the Marcellus Shale has created 140,000 jobs and has added $1.1 billion in state and local tax revenues; in addition to the production of billions of dollars worth of natural gas energy, which brings down the cost of natural gas for all Americans. With an estimated 24 billion barrels of oil and 480 trillion cubic feet of natural gas potentially underground, fracking is being hailed as the answer to the country’s energy security.  Of course no advancement this groundbreaking, pun completely intended, goes without skepticism from some and fracking is no exception.  Opponents have spent millions spreading unfounded rumors as to why fracking is, in their opinion, the potential downfall of the world.  Let’s take a look at the most common myths and the evidence that refutes them.

Fracking will cause your tap water to catch fire.

The movie, Gasland, set this rumor ablaze.  One particular scene shows a man lighting the water pouring from his kitchen faucet.  The fact is tap water could be lit on fire long before fracking came about due to naturally occurring methane pockets in the ground.  If your water comes from a well and the drilling was done poorly, you stand a chance of having flammable water.  Investigators later checked the man’s house and found the methane in his water was due to the way his well was drilled, fracking played no role. Additionally, when the filmmaker was confronted by the director of the pro-fracking film FrackNation about why he failed to mention the fact that tap water could be lit on fire regardless of fracking, he claimed the information “wasn’t relevant.”

Your tap water will be contaminated.

To protect the groundwater, each well is fortified with layers of concrete and steel casing which are cemented in place.  They are also constantly monitored as an additional safety precaution.  The wells are thousands of feet below the water table, with solid rock between the two.  As John Stossel points out in the Washington Examiner, the chemicals used in fracking would have to flow up against gravity through solid rock to breach the water.  Even EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, who is notoriously against fossil fuels, had to admit to Congress that there have been no “proven cases where the fracking process itself has affected water.” 

Toxins and carcinogens are used in the fracking fluid and much of it is left in the ground.

The fluid used in the fracking process is 99.5% water and sand.  While there are hundreds of chemicals (of which many are biodegradable) that can be used in the process, the most common chemicals used are also found in your house.  For instance, sodium chloride may be used and is also used in table salt. . . .

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12 thoughts on “Fracking Myths: Don’t Get Taken In

  1. Isn't the fracking boom a false boom?

    Ellen Brown inadvertently provides the evidence that such is the case:

    NORTH DAKOTA’S ECONOMIC “MIRACLE”—IT’S NOT OIL http://www.webofdebt.com/articles/north_dakota.ph

    North Dakota is the only state to be in continuous budget surplus since the banking crisis of 2008.

    If its secret isn’t oil, what is so unique about the state? North Dakota has one thing that no other state has: its own state-owned bank.

    Access to credit is the enabling factor that has fostered both a boom in oil and record profits from agriculture in North Dakota.

    Artificial credit expansion doesn't create wealth, so this must be a bubble.

    The Left has wanted to reduce productivity under the guise of promoting "clean energy" or "renewable energy".

    This artificial credit creation, together with monetary inflation and regulations designed to make coal and oil artificially more expensive, should account for the boom in fracking.

    Gary North, can you please talk about this?

  2. Ellen Brown is a nutty Greenbacker, in reality a leftist. Go to http://www.garynorth.com and search for her name. Much of her that he's exposed is available free to the public.

  3. The author of the article is a wealthy man who could easily afford to live in a frack zone.

    He chooses not to.

    Pay attention to the walk, not the talk.

  4. HolyShirt says:

    This article caught your eye? Certainly not your brain. 140,000 jobs? For who? Ants? In rural NEPA, deer outnumber people, We've seen our drinking water stolen by the big cities, who all-summer-long pour it into the ocean from open fire hydrants. Polluted by industrial effluent, our well-water has gotten us sicker every year. Barstool' economists'—legends in their own minds who don't know Schlitz—spew phony statistics, promising cheaper gas but leaving only wind. Adding insult to injury, fast-buck, midnight hazmat haulers off-load to frackwater haulers. Say it ain't so, Joe! http://www.goupstate.com/article/2013130829899.

  5. Seymour Kleerly says:

    This site is pro polluter and takes us for idiots.

  6. Maybe he is just an older guy who chooses to live somewhere warm. ND is freaking cold, yo!

  7. I see the trolls are out…Get your torch and pitchforks! Oh wait, that's ogres.

  8. I already understand that Ellen Brown is a nutty Greenbacker.

    This Greenbacker thinks that the fracking boom is caused by the artificial credit expansion provided by the state bank of North Dakota.

    Artificial credit expansion doesn't create wealth, it transfers it, so fracking is, at least in part, an artificial boom.

    Can Gary North please explore this issue of fracking being a false boom?

  9. I'm sure he can, but I can tell by the tone of your comment that if God himself placed the answer directly in your mind, you would refuse to accept it. It is a waste of time to argue with someone that is not willing to learn.

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