New hydraulic fracturing regulations won't keep the public safe
DENVER POST By Sam Schabacker
Posted: 07/10/2011 01:00:00 AM MDT
The form of natural gas drilling called fracking has caused livestock and crops to die from tainted water, people in small towns to black out and develop headaches from foul air, and flames to explode from kitchen taps. In response to concerns about these and other impacts, state officials announced on June 7 that they will review Colorado's fracking regulations. While this may be heartening to some, this review promises to provide little protection for Colorado residents. Instead, we need to end this destructive practice.
Many state and federal lawmakers see natural gas as the answer to our nation's need for new energy sources. However, in recent years, we have learned that extracting gas through fracking poses unacceptable risks to the public. Fracking uses large quantities of water and a cocktail of toxic chemicals that have been shown to poison water resources. To date, thousands of cases of water contamination have been reported near drilling sites around the country. In many cases, residents can no longer drink from their taps, and in one instance, a home near a fracking site exploded after a gas well leaked methane into its tap water.
These problems have hit home here in Colorado. In Garfield County, 8,000 natural gas wells have inched closer to residential areas. A hydrological study found that as the number of gas wells in this heavily fracked county increased, methane levels in water wells also rose. In 2008, a wastewater pit in Colorado leaked 1.6 million gallons of fluid, which migrated into the Colorado River......