Fracking is the process of pumping water deep into the ground with the aim of creating fractures that release trapped gas.
In 2005, then Vice President Dick Cheney engineered a loophole that exempt companies that use the technique from complying with the Safe Drinking Water Act. The result? They could now pump not just water but toxic chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde.
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. As the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico last year proved, it’s difficult to take these companies on their word.
Learn more at ProPublica.com.
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