Article by Nadia Steinzor from Earthworks Oil & Gas Accountability Project www.earthworksaction.org
Published in Volume 22, Number 3, 2012 Edition of River Voices, A River Network Publication
While everyone uses and depends on different forms of energy, far fewer of us think about what producing it can mean for the people and environments directly affected. But in an age of rapid climate change and threats to air and water quality, that could be slowly changing. Even as the fossil fuel train we’ve long been traveling on continues to rush down the tracks, communities and decision makers are working to stop it—and many are waving a flag that reads “No Fracking.”
Slang for hydraulic fracturing, the technology that fractures shale rock in order to release the trapped gas, “fracking” has for many people become synonymous with the overall process of oil and gas development. The sudden widespread use of the word reflects the equally rapid rise of natural gas extraction and production in the United States (and globally). According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in mid-2012, there were nearly 490,000 producing natural gas wells in the United States, 60,000 more than in 2005.