Today anti-fracking activists have reached out to each other around the globe to stage coordinated protests in more than 30 countries against the method of gas drilling known as “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing.
The groups participating in the Global Frackdown say the potential risks to drinking water from the deep, horizontal wells being drilled by the gas industry as well as from the disposal of fracking fluids is too great of an environmental price to pay for natural gas. They argue that humankind would be better to focus on developing cleaner energy, like wind and solar power.
Anti-fracking groups also fear that methane leaks from natural gas wells are underestimated and are hastening climate change. In addition, they say that living near fracking is unhealthy for humans, because benzene and toluene and other chemicals used in the process are toxic and carcinogen, polluting the air.
The natural gas industry has countered complaints about drilling pollution, saying that wells can be capped to stop methane emissions and that drinking water is safe because the hydrofracturing of shale deposits occurs hundreds or thousands of feet beneath the water table.
Find photos of today’s protests at #globalfrackdown on Twitter.