Thursday, August 11, 2011

Natural Gas- Not So Natural

Just last week I watched the documentary by Josh Fox entitled, Gasland. Though our project is focusing primarily on the production and consumption of coal as a source of energy, through this documentary it is very clear that natural gas is just as bad if not worst.

Though the burning of natural gas is much cleaner then coal the process in which we retrieve it from the earth is quite the contrary. The specific process is called "Fracking." This is the process where once a well is drilled, millions of gallons of water, sand and proprietary (in most cases extremely toxic) chemicals are injected, under high pressure into this well. The pressure fractures the shale (a type of sedimentary rock) and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well.

The process seems harmless enough right? Unfortunately that is not the case...For starters, all the water that was used during the fracking process is now contaminated with chemicals that cannot be filtered out. Let's all ponder that again... Each time this fracking process occurs, billions of gallons of water are contaminated in a way that is not longer suitable for any kind of natural life (humans, plants, animals, etc.) and will never get to that state again.  And to think that there are literally hundreds of thousands of natural gas wells just within the United States. This is not mentioning the additional water that is getting contaminated in the surrounding cities. There are thousands of people that can literally catch their tap water on fire!

This is a gigantic issue!! To get the full story watch the movie Gasland. For a sneak peak, see the trailer below.

For more information on natural gas and the process in which it is extracted check out

By Taylor Hughes

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