Those giant steel towers rising all across the United States -- they aren’t sucking oil from the ground. They’re pumping water into it, building enough pressure to break the rock and release 10-million-year-old fossil fuel. This is hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, and fighting it has become the cause célèbre of filmmakers, politicians, movie stars, and activists.
For good reason: The Environmental Protection Agency has found that fracking chemicals can contaminate drinking water supplies, gas companies have laid waste to rural landscapes, fracking can release methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere, and scattershot state and federal regulations allow drillers to keep the ingredients of their chemical cocktails secret. Fracking has even been linked to earthquakes.
Given all this, I’d be willing to bet a large part of my small salary that one of the following statements elicits a strong protest from those fighting the good fight against fracking. Ready? Here we go: