(NaturalNews) According to statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, natural gas now powers about 33 percent of the US electrical grid, but the technique that’s used to extract oil from the ground today is much different from the drilling methods of the past. To speed up the process, a high-tech method was invented called high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing. While we still call the end product “natural gas” there really is nothing natural about hydraulic fracturing.
Fracking uses high pressure, water, sand and a myriad of chemicals to fracture the rock up to 1,000 feet away from the the well, according to a study titled “Malignant human cell transformation of Marcellus Shale gas drilling flow back water.” Fracking is unleashed between 6,000 and 10,000 feet deep in the well, according to the study, and about 5.5 million gallons of water are used for each fracking well. The pressure causes fractures to form and forces water and chemicals back up to the surface. Between 30 and 70 percent of the water returns to the surface as flowback. This flowback water contains chemicals from the fracturing process and an unknown quantity of heavy metals and radioactive compounds that are destabilized underground during the fracturing process. This can cause heavy metals to contaminate rural wells, farmland and food.
So could fracking be causing cancer? A new study says, yes, and it could be happening much faster than previously predicted.