Sweet Poison

What’s nectar to some is poison to others.

Natural-gas wells on public land in the Jonah Field of western Wyoming. Fracking is routine for most gas wells drilled now in the U.S.  Photo: EcoFlight via SkyTruth
Natural-gas wells on public land in the Jonah Field of western Wyoming. Fracking is routine for most gas wells drilled now in the U.S.
Credit: EcoFlight via SkyTruth

Fracking, an extraction technique that involves injecting water mixed with chemicals into wells to break apart shale formations that cover pockets of oil or natural gas.

Gelling agents, acids, friction reducers, surfactants and many other chemicals are pumped into the ground to break up rock formations and release natural gas. Many of these chemicals are known carcinogens and volatile organic compounds. After returning to the surface, the “produced” water is placed in evaporation ponds and dispersed into the air. Fracking fluid is exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act and drilling companies are not required to disclose all the chemicals they use. Credit: EcoFlight
Gelling agents, acids, friction reducers, surfactants and many other chemicals are pumped into the ground to break up rock formations and release natural gas. Many of these chemicals are known carcinogens and volatile organic compounds. After returning to the surface, the “produced” water is placed in evaporation ponds and dispersed into the air. Fracking fluid is exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act and drilling companies are not required to disclose all the chemicals they use.
Credit: EcoFlight

Fracking: Praised as an economic and energy boon, condemned as a toxic threat.

Overspray of drilling slurry at hydro-fracking drill site. This by-product from mining operations includes rock debris, drill bit lubricants and possibly residual radioactive material. The overspray at the top is a violation and a danger to any bodies of water downhill. Dimock, Pennsylvania. Credit: Islandbreath
Overspray of drilling slurry at hydro-fracking drill site. This by-product from mining operations includes rock debris, drill bit lubricants and possibly residual radioactive material. The overspray at the top is a violation and a danger to any bodies of water downhill. Dimock, Pennsylvania.
Credit: via Islandbreath

All the images here hold a certain terrible beauty.

Even with this apparent nectar to energy worries and economic security, since when has nectar ever shown more staying power than poison?