I have an opinion on nearly every single thing…and hydraulic fracturing is no different, so here’s a view from someone who’s read and listened a little – to many sides of the conversation.
I named this article intentionally, because I gained a unique perspective recently at the 2014 Wild Goose Festival, from a piece of art in the gallery tent. Here’s a close-up of that framed artwork…as you can see, the intention was to draw your attention to the plethora of assorted chemistries that might be.are.could be used in North Carolina for hydro-fracking purposes:
There are many concerns with injecting chemicals into the earth, and the biggest one (in my humble opinion), is the lack of transparency. If we don’t know what’s in the ‘juice,’ then there’s essentially no way to hold anyone responsible when a failure occurs (Valdez/Deepwater Horizon being prime examples) due to irresponsible behavior whether it’s one individual or many that own that particular disaster. The arguments ‘for’ fracking are logical, since the drilling depths ‘should’ be so far beneath the water tables and even further below the aquifers that there’s perhaps no risk of contamination if the safety regimen is followed as designed. In case you missed it, the operative word in the previous sentence was ‘if.’ Since the fracking industry (led by Haliburton) has found a way to exempt itself from safe water regulations – there’s no way to pierce through that impenetrable armor of governmental protection.
This technology isn’t coming, it’s here – and it’s inevitable, especially if a country’s borders tighten, so the key from my perspective is to make the participants liable for their actions and to make the chemistries cleaner and safer. There are several companies working to do that, and they are the ones who stand to benefit the most from full-disclosure. (Taking an example from some fast-food restaurants, you were initially most-likely to choose one where you could ‘see’ the kitchen because it was always clean…but the real reason they kept it clean was simply because it was an open-concept design.) There’s an inherent virtuous cycle associated with transparency, that automatically incentivizes safety and purity. Given the level of secrecy with fracking, it’s nice to know that someone got a list for North Carolina. This list might not be completely comprehensive, but I wanted to see it…unfortunately, I didn’t have time to read it all.
I did take a picture of the list of chemicals though: