What is Fracking?

 

Fracking seems to be hitting the news headlines again recently - so what exactly is fracking?

Fracking (hydraulic fracturing) is a method of extracting fossil fuels, primarily natural gas but also oil, from deep underground. It involves drilling into the earth, then injecting a combination of water, sand and chemicals which breaks up rock and allows gas or oil to flow to the surface.

It's existed since the mid-20th century but has only become widespread internationally over the last decade due to better drilling technology.

Fracking has been used around Australia, however regulations are inconsistent in each state and territory. . 

So why is fracking a shit show?

Here are some reasons.....

Fracking is a risky mining method. In 2016, the US Environmental Protection Agency found proof that it contaminated drinking water. Also, it has caused earthquakes in the US.

Moreover, fracking critics are against industrial infrastructure on rural farmland. They say that it leads to noise and air pollution. This has detrimental effects on people’s health, research suggests.

Therefore, fracking in Australia in 2021 could cause higher rates of asthma and cancer for people who live near drilling sites. It may even cause preterm births. There is another big reason to ban fracking in Australia in 2021.

The natural gas industry creates greenhouse emissions. This adds to the climate crisis. The reason for this is that natural gas is composed nearly entirely of methane. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas.

There is over 230 times more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than methane. But methane heats the atmosphere 86 times more in 20 years. It heats the atmosphere up to 34 times more than carbon dioxide in 100 years.

Research shows that the fossil fuel industry has underestimated its methane emissions by 25 to 40 per cent globally. The natural gas industry releases about 19 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. That is according to official records.

However, the gas industry does not measure its “fugitive emissions” correctly. This is the methane that gas producers release during drilling and processing. So, the Australian natural gas industry has a larger impact on the climate than it claims.

Thanks for the stats - https://climatenewsaustralia.com/fracking-in-australia-in-2021-infographic/

 

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