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Wed Jan 25, 2012, 07:26 PM

Americans protest fracking as Obama cheers for it [View all]

It took years, but opponents of fracking, the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing for the extraction of natural gas, are finally getting their point across. President Barack Obama, however, still isnít convinced of the cons.

What began as a grass roots campaign to examine the dangers of high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing has over the last few years spawned a massive movement of critics who are committing countless hours towards find a way to abolish fracking. When American energy companies drill deep into the Earthís surface to free up natural gas, groups are able to mine a natural resource without dangerous offshore production facilities or by cutting deals with foreign nations. The trade-off to many, however, is simply not worth it.

Yes, fracking can provide massive amounts of methane gas to be used domestically; but it also produces millions of gallons of wastewater that can contain elements that are known carcinogens. Despite fracking freeing up cancerous agents and releasing them into the environment, there are roughly 400,000 of these wells across America. As advocates against the excavation process raise questions regarding its safety and fight to free their cities and towns from these wells, opposition is growing, and fracking, for now, seems to be slowing.

In the Empire State, where fracking occurs in countless sites, Ithaca College biologist Sandra Steingraber tells Mother Jones that the movement is "the biggest since abolition and women's rights in New York." Ten miles west, Ann Furman of Concerned Citizens of Ulysses (CCU) in Ulysses, New York says that they got 1,500 of 3,000 registered voters to sign off against fracking in the town last year.


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