There are many reasons that fracking for natural gas is a terrible idea. While natural gas has been touted as a potential bridge fuel to wean us off fossil fuels, the pollution and danger caused by fracking makes this one semi-benefit null and void. A recent study found that fracking was linked to a record 77 earthquakes in Ohio … which all occurred in ONE month.
Communities that live near fracking sites are especially at risk from the negative effects of natural gas extraction. Increased cases of cancer, chronic nausea, headaches and birth defects have been noted in areas that are located by fracking wells. Given that pollution filled with known carcinogens and endrocrine disruptors from these sites leak into waterways and are released into the air, these horrible health impacts come as no surprise.
EarthJustice writes that fracking rush has come with countless troubling reports of, “poisoned drinking water, polluted air, mysterious animal deaths, industrial disasters and explosions.” EarthJustice has named these incidents, “fraccidents.”
Any community that lives on or around a shale formation (located deep in the earth’s bedrock) is susceptible to these fraccidents if oil and gas companies choose to launch a fracking operation. Given what we know about the resounding negative impacts that fracking can have on a community, you probably would not take a fraccident lightly.
Many people live near a fracking site and do not even know. The pollution from fracking wells spreads and oftentimes people only know there is a problem when it is too late. EarthJustice has created a genius, interactive map that allows you to see exactly where fraccidents have occurred and whether or not you live on or close to an active fracking site.
Local communities have worked together to ban fracking from their towns, and this action has even lead entire states to ban this sick practice (just look at New York!). Although oil and gas companies like to sell people on the fact that fracking can bring huge economic boosts to their community, we have to wonder if a short-term pay off is worth the long-term pollution and health problems that fracking causes. We’re gonna go ahead and say no.
So if you want to see if you live near a fraccident that’s just waiting to happen, click here to see the map in full.
Image source: Marcellus Protest/Flickr