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Tap water you can light on fire

Sherry Vargson, who leased the mineral rights under part of her farm to gas company Chesapeake Energy, illustrates her assertion that methane has leached into her well water by lighting it as it pours from her kitchen tap in Granville Summit, Pennsylvania.

Fracking is the process of pumping water deep into the ground with the aim of creating fractures that release trapped gas.

There’s a bit of a debate on whether or not these chemicals are making their way into the water supply and poisoning the environment, with the big energy companies claiming that the chemicals are kept far away from drinking water. (You can learn more about fracking in this post I wrote last year.)

From the Guardian last week…

Rural northern Pennsylvania, which sits on top of the Marcellus Shale formation, is at the centre of a rush for natural gas, brought about by the controversial drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’. While it has been an economic boom for the state, generating thousands of jobs, local residents are protesting against development and suing energy companies for alleged pollution of their water supplies.

I’m not an environmental scientist, but I don’t need to be to tell you something is very, very wrong when you can light your tap water on fire.

Photo copyright and used with permission from Jim Lo Scalzo

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