Monday, August 4, 2014

Stop Fracking 'In the Dark,' Say Biologists

In the nonrenewable energy department, shale gas is just so hot right now. But a study published this week argues that the process by which it's extracted is quite harmful to the environment and full of unknowns. Extensive research hasn’t been done yet to determine the extent of fracking's ecological damage, both potential and otherwise, and energy companies keeping their shale gas-related chemical lists and spills a secret isn’t helping. Despite the secrecy, scientists can already tell the whole process is pretty bad and needs major overhaul, along with additional research.

The report, published in the journalFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment and authored by eight conservation biologists from various organizations and universities including Canada’s Simon Frasier University and Princeton, argues that the shale gas development process needs way more oversight and research. 

In a press release, they explain that their “key findings are cause for significant concern and decisive mitigation measures.” Findings include the identification of only five of 24 states in the US involved with shale gas development that bother to make their chemical spills and accidents list public. The remaining 19 are thus far just cool with anonymous hazmat events. The paper also found that companies were not disclosing a full list of chemicals being used during the shale gas extraction process either.

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