It will probably come as no surprise to many that the petroleum industry is, as ever, trying to extract yet more fossil fuels from the earth. What may surprise some is that fracking is not a new technology, it was first tested out back in 1947 in the USA. Fracking refers to a process called hydraulic fracturing where hundreds of millions of litres of fluid are pumped underground in order to release gas and oil so that it can be extracted. So other than the obvious fact that many more millions of litres of fossil fuels are set to be pumped out of the ground in the UK, what have we got to worry about?
Let’s start with the ‘fracking fluid’ used in the process, frankly the stuff is nasty. Whilst alot of what is put into the ground is water, it includes a significant proportion of other substances. Saving a lot of technical jargon the other components of the fluid are toxic, can cause cancer and have been linked to brain damage. Oh, did we mention that these fluids frequently manage to find their way into our water supplies after fracking? Oddly enough when you pump millions of gallons of water mixed with poisons underground some of it ends up in the water supply. Also the Tories don’t seem to see this as a problem, nor do they see it as a problem that fracking uses valuable water supplies in some of the driest parts of the country. I guess that’s pretty normal for them though, when it comes to getting rich quick the Tories and Big Oil overlords really aren’t too bothered about droughts and poisoned land, gets them off benefits quicker right?
Shockingly, where fracking has already been carried out in parts of the USA it has poisoned huge underground aquifers (natural water reservoirs) which the environmental agency reported as being “prohibitively expensive to repair”. Apparently you can put a price on the basic necessity of all the planet’s life.
Another fact, fracking causes earthquakes. Fortunately they aren’t very big; at worst you might find some cracked plaster in your house if you live right next door. Or at least that is what has come out of some fairly biased reports from the earthquakes that shook Blackpool after Cuadrilla Resources’ fracking attempts. The real story is that it’s actually very hard to tell what the effects of fracking are going to be on earthquakes, all the fluid being pumped underground acts like lubricant allowing different strata (geological term for layers) of rock to slip and slide against each other causing earthquakes and allowing the fracking fluid to slip far and wide.
This is only the tip of the iceberg; there are many resources about fracking online that can inform you in more depth. As for Revolution’s opinion, we call for:
- An end to fracking and compensation for those affected.
- Energy supplies are a common inheritence – we call for the production of energy to be nationalised and put under the control of workers and consumers, to ensure quality control and stop profiteering.
- Finally we call for massive investment into renewable energy such as solar, for every pound and dollar the capitalists invest into fossil fuels we would invest in sustainable power.