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.
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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?