In this voracious race to consume the planet’s resources the eternal seekers of an oil substitute began some years ago the folly of fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing. The number of oil fields is limited and they only decrease over time along with their profitability, but nonetheless the economy needs the black gold, its liquid energy and in the absence of its natural form, they will try to find it in alternative sites; in the reservoirs of rock formations.
That these oil and gas resources were there, hidden in the webs of the Earth, has been known for centuries, but its extraction is so complex and expensive that till only some years ago, it has always been rejected. The gold fever has broken taboos and the competition for scratching the bowels of the earth without mercy, without looking at the consequences; has already started.
The Promises: ‘El Dorado’; reactivating the very battered economies of the Western world, extending the life of the growing economy based on oil; achieving energy independence, returning to the glamorous eighties of the developed world.
What nobody talks about: The environmental cost that fracking will have on our lives; pollution of aquifers due to the pressure injection of five hundred different toxic agents that inevitably will filter into the natural reservoirs of the waters that irrigate our fields. The water that we drink is the waste water used in the hydraulic fracturing process, which the industry assures can be filtered, cleaned and restored to human consumption.
The federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 contained a provision that has come to be known as the «Halliburton Loophole”, an exemption for gas drilling and extraction from requirements in the underground injection control program of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). In this any substance that could reach an aquifer must be known, to try to ensure the quality of the water consumed in the U.S..
A world in which 3.4 million people die every day from a water related disease, in which 780 million people lack access to clean water, the solution Governments are giving to the energy crisis is based in a high water demand technique where water is polluted. Fracking will inevitably lead to an unprecedented water crisis.
How come we never learn from past mistakes? An extraction technique with worse than poor performance, becomes an outrageous boom for the industry’s foolish promise to come back hand by hand to the golden ages that already have led us to disaster.
Our society needs energy, but not at any price and not at any cost. We must think of the future, and not put at risk the future generations and condemn to death millions of people due to lack of access to clean water. Let’s try to set the basis thus beyond our time, then there still might be life with a reasonable quality level and society might live within sustainable limits to ensure our future and the future of clean water.
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