We've known for a while that fracking was doing some funny things to our drinking water. Now the EPA has come out of the closet on the issue and made it official. In a landmark report released this week, the EPA declared that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is causing groundwater pollution in the Wind River aquifer, located in the Pavillion region of Wyoming, where locals have complained of chemical smells coming from their wells since the drilling commenced. The EPA has found toxic levels of benzene and other hydrocarbons in the aquifer.
To nobody's surprise, the political backlash has already started. Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma attacked the EPA's science behind the report, saying that is a part of Obama's unjust war on fossil fuels. Meanwhile, residents of Pavillion are extremely happy with the EPA's decision to speak out against the fracking pollution, and hope that the responsible parties will be held accountable to clean up the mess.
Yes, fracking allows previously unexploitable natural gas reserves to be tapped, but it can also poison our drinking water. Until we know that fracking can be done safely without polluting our groundwater, we need to put an immediate stop to it. In the words of many protesters, "Don't frack it up."
Photo: A hydraulic fracturing drill site in the Pavillion/Muddy Ridge gas field. (Pavillion Area Concerned Citizens)