A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences vindicates the process of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking". The charges and scare tactics against the natural gas industry by so-called environmentalists are shown to be unfounded, including the wildly inaccurate claims made in the anti-industry smear movie Gasland.
In summary, the NAS scientists found no leakage of any chemicals from the fracking process into groundwater. They conclude it is unlikely that methane or any pumping fluids can leak up through the thousands of feet from the gas deposits to the groundwater. They found high levels of methane in shallow drinking water wells, but only when those drinking water wells were within 1,000 meters of active natural gas wells. The conclusion is that some of the well casings are leaking methane. This has nothing to do with the process or technology of fracking. Instead, it means companies must engineer more robust solutions for cementing and casing wells to prevent methane leakage into the immediate surrounding area.
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