Monday, September 13, 2010

Avoiding America's next drilling disaster

By Robert Casey and Diana DeGette

While our nation copes with the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the
multiple failures of offshore drilling regulation that led to it, another
potential fossil-fuel crisis lurks onshore.

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as "fracking," injects tens of thousands of
gallons of water, sand, and chemicals at high pressure into underground rock
formations to release natural gas. The injected fracking fluids are known to
include a variety of harmful chemicals, such as diesel fuel, benzene, methanol, and formaldehyde. Even low concentrations of these chemicals can have severe health and environmental consequences, and they are being used near drinking water supplies....continued...