Are Chemicals in Hydraulic Fracturing Poisoning Our Drinking Water?

There is more than one way of doing things. Looking for untapped energy sources at home means evaluating and employing all the possibilities that make sense: natural gas, solar, wind or water (hydro) power. There will be proponents and naysayers on both sides of every issue so take what you hear and read with a grain of salt.

The answer to the chemical question is no one knows for sure yet. There was a study performed in Wyoming that some people, including the governor of the state, believed to be “scientifically questionable.” Studies were performed because of taste and odor problems in the water. However, the U.S. Geological Survey has detected organic chemicals in the well water for about 50 years. Fracking was not used at that time.

The EPA found 2-butoxyethyl phosphate in drinking wells. According to the Petroleum Association of Wyoming “2-BE isn’t an oil and gas chemical but a common fire retardant used in association with plastics and plastic components used in drinking wells.” So drinking wells are already polluted? Something else to keep in mind is that old wells can allow seepage. These days safer well construction will help prevent contaminants from leaking into the water supply.

Read just about any article on fracking and there are explosive comments on both sides of the issue. Threats to our country’s drinking water should be taken seriously but make sure regulators aren’t “spreading fear to enhance their own power while pursuing an ideological agenda.”

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