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Fracking vs. Gas Flaring: What is wrong with this picture?

For years, towns and individuals in certain areas of the United States have been pressured to accept Hydrolic Fracturing, also known as "Fracking" on their lands. This method is used to extract natural gas from the crust of the Earth by drilling holes into the ground and injecting gallons of water mixed with a variety of chemicals (up to 600 different chemicals) under pressure until the crust breaks and frees pockets of natural gas.

The American president and his administration have been campaigning around making the US more and more energy independent. But in order to import less gas from other countries, the US needs to be able to supply its people with energy. Hence the need to extract more natural gas from the ground.

Fracking, is a very dangerous method which has been polluting people's water sources and has made many communities more and more fragile. People have developed all kinds of ailments in regions where fracking is used and the damages to the environment are enormous. In fact, a few days ago one town in Texas found itself with no more potable water to drink, water their crops or raise their cattle.

For more on this story, watch this video

On the same day I heard about this town in Texas, I read an assignment from one of our Voices of Our Future Correspondent, Greengirl. Her Journal Post entitled NIGERIA'S PLEA TO STOP GAS FLARING IGNORED: WOMEN & CHILDREN CONTINUE PAYING THE PRICE discussed the practices of gas companies extracting petroleum in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. As the black gold comes up, natural gas is also released.

The companies only want the petroleum so they simply burn the natural gas. The gas flares are found all over the Niger Delta and create huge health and environmental damages in the communities. The people of the Niger Delta have been protesting for years to put an end to this practice in an effort to save their people and the beauty, bio-diversity and health of their land.

Greengirl recommended I watch this video called Poison Fire. I did and I recommend you watch it too to get a stronger understanding of the situation in Nigeria.

In the light of these two practices, I can't help but wonder why are we hurting the Earth and communities here in the US to get natural gas, that get burned off in the Niger Delta? What is wrong with this picture? Why can't we use the natural gas from Nigeria there or here? What does this say about our society and what we have allowed companies to do?

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Comments

ikirimat's picture

OMG

Govts are busy minting money in the name of investments without giving a thought about its citizens. W e meed considerate and focused leaders.
Thx for sharing

Grace Ikirimat

"It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success."


Y's picture

We must abolish corporate

We must abolish corporate legal shelters that ban accountability of executives. We must hold all in our country, including politicians and corporate heads, accountable to the same rules and responsibilities that the rest of us live by. this is the only way I see out of this mess.

Y

Greengirl's picture

Dear Delphine

I feel so impressed and encouraged by your post. You did great by also raising the issue of "Fracking".

In recent times, the issue of Fracking has been in the front burner on Aljazeera News Television. Protests by environmental activists and residents of rural areas where exploration activities are being proposed in South Africa and the UK have been featured. The red flags about the process, just like in the case of gas flaring are obvious, yet proponents (the oil/gas companies and governments) care less about the potential human and environmental costs of their decisions. For example, the argument about why natural gas is continuously being flared is that it cannot be stored in it's natural state because of it's explosive nature. However, I wonder why attempts to liquefy the gas has not been fully explored. It is amazing that Nigeria continues to waste these resource in the face of the country's inability to satisfy the energy needs that exists within the country and globally.

The questions you raised in the last paragraph are very significant and I can't fathom why our leader and the oil/gas merchants are not paying close attention to answering them. I hope they wake up to the reality of what is right, in good time.

Your write up reflects your depth of stewardship, and I am thrilled that my post inspired you. Thank you so much for the acknowledgement and thank you for hearing me and taking a step further to advocate that others join the cause.

Together we can and will!
Greengirl

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