Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What the Frack?! (Continued)

Last month, we were shocked to discover that state officials are considering allowing fracking in Nevada. Now, we have more concrete details of what's being considered. Houston based Noble Energy has plans to frack 40,000 acres of public land just outside Wells, and about 50 miles east of Elko, by the end of the year. In addition to this, Noble Energy has secured leases on a total of 350,000 acres of public land in Elko County with plans to frack all of it.

Again, Noble Energy wants to start fracking in Elko County by the end of this year. And it wants to frack even more land next year. If Noble Energy succeeds, get used to seeing this here.

This is the real damage caused by fracking in North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and other states where fracking has already occurred. And this is what will come to Nevada if fracking is allowed here. That's why the Center for Biological Diversity is asking the BLM to stop this proposed project. And the Center will likely not be alone in doing so.

“Fracking on these sensitive public lands in Nevada could threaten human health and our spectacular natural heritage,” said Rob Mrowka, a Nevada-based ecologist with the Center. “Use of this polluting technology so close to human habitation is fraught with danger, which is why many states and municipalities are fighting to ban fracking.”

Fracking is a controversial form of oil and gas extraction that involves blasting huge volumes of water, mixed with toxic chemicals and sand, deep into the earth to break up rock formations. Fracking has been linked to air and water pollution; one study identified more than 25 percent of reported fracking chemicals as known carcinogens. Other fracking chemicals harm the nervous, endocrine, immune and cardiovascular systems and can contribute to serious health problems in people and animals living near fracked wells.

Fracking has been tied to contamination of surface and ground waters; well water from household taps in some areas can be set on fire because of methane contamination in the water supply. The federal government recently confirmed fracking-related contamination of water in Pavillion, Wyo. [...]

“The area of this proposed project has been identified by the Nevada Department of Wildlife as essential and irreplaceable habitat for the greater sage grouse, a species being considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act,” Mrowka added. “The last thing these rare, spectacular birds need is gas-field development in their habitat.”

This is the frightening reality of fracking. And this is why Nevadans must think long and hard about these consequences. Do we want tap water that can be set on fire? And do we want to put our land, our wildlife, and ultimately our people in such danger?

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