Letter: Extracting gas not any cleaner



Natural gas companies claim that natural gas does not negatively impact the environment. While it is true that natural gas burns cleaner, hydraulic fracturing, the mining process of extracting gas, is just as bad for the environment as any other fossil fuel extraction.

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as fracking, is the process of injecting hundreds of gallons of water, sand, and thousands of chemicals, some including carcinogens, into a hole. The pressure created shatters the shale, and releases the natural gas. When they're done with this mixture, they usually sell it to de-icing companies due to the high saline content. After extracting the natural gas, they place it in open-air, plastic-lined pits, where they spray it with chemicals to evaporate the less desirable chemicals.

How does this impact humans? The shattering of shale creates a pipeline for the natural gas, and fracking fluid to flow into underground water sources. There have been numerous reports coming from people who live near drill sites of sick cattle, dying wildlife, stream and tap water that can be lit on fire, and exploding wells.

There are 17 states where fracking has occurred. That number should be zero.

Sebastian Schiebel

La Center