Thu Nov 15, 2012, 02:11 PM
ProfessionalLeftist (4,982 posts)
Industry Claims that Fracking Will Lead to "Energy Independence" Debunked in New Report
As CMD has reported, the fossil fuel industry has been engaging in an aggressive PR and political campaign to convince Americans that drilling for oil and gas domestically is the only way that the nation can break its dependence on foreign oil, bring down prices at the pump, and usher in a new era of economic prosperity. A new report from the DC-based public interest group Food & Water Watch knocks down these claims one by one. While the industry uses the phrase "energy security," the report contends that only industry profits will be secured by the expansion of controversial hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" for shale oil and gas.
Fracking involves pumping large quantities of fresh water, coupled with chemicals and sand, into shale formations to crack the rock and extract the fossil fuels -- which include oil and natural gas. Studies have revealed that fracking fluids contain a host of toxic substances, including known carcinogens and volatile organic compounds. Fracking has the documented potential to contaminate drinking water sources, foul air and land, as well as spoiling millions of gallons of fresh water as part of the drilling process that must then be disposed.
Claims of Endless Gas Reserves are Exaggerated
The industry claims that there are enough gas reserves in the United States to last the nation 100 years, relying on the assumption that they will have carte blanche to frack wherever they want. The analysis by Food & Water Watch puts the number closer to 50 years. However long they last, the reserves are finite. According to the report, "After as much natural gas as possible is extracted from the United States, the country's dependence on natural gas to fuel transportation and generate electricity would persist. Decades from now this dependence would leave the country in need of natural gas imports. American consumers would then be exposed to global demand for natural gas just as they currently are for oil."
The report asks the reasonable question, why not invest in renewable energy now rather than waiting until the gas wells dry up?
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