Hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking, has been in the news a lot lately. It's now widely accepted that the increase in seismic activity (earthquakes), especially from in the eastern U.S. is caused by fracking. Drinking water in places close to fracking operations has been documented over and over again as contaminated with carcinogens, even to the point of water from household taps being ignited (yes, water on fire).
Now the state of North Carolina want to join the chorus of drill-baby-drill and get on the fracking bandwagon.
Keep in mind that the very politicians who want to do this are mostly Republicans (though our Democratic Governor ha come out in favor as well, proving that both parties are corrupt as Hell). These same politicians who say fracking, if properly regulated, are the same ones who repeatedly and at every opportunity vote to deregulate and cut funding to regulatory agencies. Does anyone else see a major problem looming up on our horizon?
Fracking is suicide. Period.
I understand that we need new energy sources in an increasingly bad way, but I have a problem with insanity. We know that burning fossil fuels is killing the planet and only the willfully ignorant still refuse to accept this fact.
We need to be attacking this problem on multiple fronts. For one thing, we need to reduce our dependence on imported goods and energy, whether from other continents or other states. Reducing the unnecessary energy usage as much as possible is vital to our survival, but there's more.
We also must get creative in utilizing every energy stream available to us that we can. The Deep River runs through my county, and there are no less than six viable sites where hydro-power has been or could be put to use generating electricity, not to mention the numerous smaller streams and dams that could be put to use.
Another potential energy stream I'm happy to report is beginning to be utilized is landfill gas. I spent a good portion of the last two weeks working at two sites here in North Carolina where the first steps are being taken to bring methane from our waste stream into use producing electricity.
Methane is the natural product of composting, which is what a landfill essentially is. A landfill blew up in Winston-Salem about fifty years ago, and since then, most landfills have begun capturing and burning off the excess methane. Last week I stood next to one of these huge flares, and the heat was intense, even at fifty feet away. There's a lot of potential power there.
The point I want to make is that we do not need to risk our ground water supplies to extract natural gas by fracking. Instead, we need to property utilize the resources we have at hand and become less dependent on outside goods and services. Fracking is just another excuse to pour millions of dollars into the pockets of a few wealthy petroleum magnates at the expense of our children's futures. Don't buy into the madness.
Methane capture, micro-hydroelectric, and wind energy may not be able to fill all our current needs, but do we really need all we currently use?
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