Fracking (also called hydraulic fracturing) is an extreme and unsafe method of extracting fossil fuels from the ground that harms our drinking water, food, health, environment, and climate and has been even linked to earthquakes. Not to mention, it keeps us from shifting away from fossil fuels and into renewable energy! Fracking is carried out by drilling deep into the ground and injecting millions of gallons of toxic fluid – a mix of water, sand, and harsh chemicals – at a high enough pressure to fracture the rock and release oil or gas. Doesn’t that sound nuts?? The scariest part is that fracking is exempt from major environmental laws such as the Safe Drinking Water Act!
I recently went to an event focused on this issue that was hosted by Mark Ruffalo. Man is he great! I love him as an actor and a person. He is a genuine, intelligent, and heartfelt man who cares so passionately about change. It was so great to talk to a like-minded activist about all things eco! Mark has been a key face behind the fracking movement since the beginning, so a huge thank you to him for all of his involvement in this, truly! Anyways, one of the most shocking parts of the evening was realizing this toxic process is impacting even organically grown fruits, nuts, and vegetables!!
You might be wondering how this yucky wastewater can even be re-used on plants…? This is because of a recycling program implemented to help deal with water shortages. It seems like a cool idea on the surface, but since this process requires heavy chemical use, it’s no good! Take Chevron, they recycle 21 million gallons of their wastewater each day and sell it to farmers who use it on about 45,000 acres of crops, which equals about 10% of Kern County’s farmland. Crazy right? It’s almost hard to grasp what this means in plain terms… And in addition to recycling water, chemicals can migrate along fissures through abandoned wells, leaky well casings, or spill from holding ponds or pipelines. If your like me, your probably thinking there’s no way a farm can be certified organic if the water it’s using is filled with chemicals. Unfortunately, these standards strictly ban petroleum-derived fertilizers commonly used in convention agriculture, but the same rules do not prohibit farmers from irrigating their crops with petroleum-laced wastewater gained from oil and gas wells. Insane and scary right?? For this reason it’s extremely important to know where your food is coming from, in comparison to where fracking wells can be found. You can find a map here of where drilling sites are located.
On top of this, the impacts fracking has on human health are frightening. Theo Colborn, an environmental health analyst, identified 632 chemicals used in natural-gas production. More than 75 percent of them could affect sensory organs and the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems; 40 to 50 percent have the potential impacts on the kidneys and on the nervous, immune and cardiovascular systems; 37 percent act on the hormone system; and 35 percent are linked with cancer of mutations… If you haven’t seen the documentary Gasland, it gives an upclose look at how fracking is effecting individuals health all over the country. I encourage you to watch it and share it with your family and friends!
Join me in taking a stand. There is SO much to be done! Banning fracking is what needs to happen, and we’re getting there! Fracking was banned in the state of New York, so I’m optimistic. Let’s stop the contamination of irrigation, ban fracking on public lands, and stop this madness that’s making many very sick.
Email, Tweet, sign this petition, and/or send a message on Facebook, and call Governor Jerry Brown’s office at (916) 445-2841 and tell him he needs to stop relying on destructive fossil fuel extraction processes and start transitioning to renewable energy immediately! We simply can’t say California is ‘green’ while we frack!!
Ban Fracking on Public Lands
What’s going on in your community in regards to fracking? Have you organized to achieve a ban? How can we alert each other of what farms are using this recycled wastewater??
Photo Credit: Treehugger