Frightening fracking


To the Editor:

Fracking is a practice in which water, sand and chemicals are injected into the well at high pressure to loosen shale and release gas. Fracking is exempt from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act, and companies are not legally required to disclose the chemicals used in fracking operations, claiming them as proprietary “trade secrets.”

At least 44 municipalities across the country have passed measures to ban fracking.

Duke authors Rob Jackson and Avner Vengosh have written that their research shows “the average methane concentrations to be 17 times higher in water located within a kilometer of active drilling sites.” The Duke study spotlighted a long known and more legitimate concern: the possibility of leaky well casings at the top of a drilling site.

Flames exploding from kitchen taps, and livestock dropping dead from tainted water. These aren’t scenes from a horror movie. They’re the increasingly common results of fracking in many places in the U.S. To date, at least 1,000 cases of water contamination have been documented near drilling sites. In some cases, residents can no longer drink from their taps.

Between 2005 and 2010, the largest natural gas producers and two trade associations have spent, on average, more than $200,000 every calendar day lobbying on behalf of industry interests.

Recent visitors sent me two newspaper articles on fracking, one for, one against, and asked me “Who can I believe?”

My response? I will let the facts speak for themselves.

Peter Cabana

Vineyard Haven