Issue Date: May 7, 2012
Fracking Is Not Perfect
While reading the article “Petrochemicals,” I was taken aback that the only mention of hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) was that it was part of a “perfected” process (C&EN, March 5, page 10).
True, it does release natural gas in hitherto inaccessible quantities, and true, the U.S. can certainly use the energy/raw materials. However, this is a process that is far from perfect, unless one totally discounts the contaminated personal water wells and streams. If but a small percentage of the thousands of complaints of contaminated and even flammable water wells are due to the release of thermogenic shale gas, even that is way too many.
Stringent regulation, safeguards, and enforcement, especially of the Clean Water and Air Acts, are mandatory. Mandatory, that is, if we care at all about preserving some water and environment for the future. Please do not portray hydraulic fracturing as a “perfect” process.
By J. William Louda
Boca Raton, Fla
- Chemical & Engineering News
- ISSN 0009-2347
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