Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process by which chemicals are used to increase the production of oil or gas. The EPA has announced a draft report stating that fracking has resulted in the contamination of underground water sources, in the town of Pavillion, Wyoming. This was the first such announcement on this controversial practice, and the EPA has opened the door to further research, the results of which will not be ready until late 2012.
This issue has raised many concerns about drilling practices. Benzene, dizene, diesel, and other hydrocarbons have been found in Pavillion's water. And while the Encana, the company whose practices are in question, states that the findings are not yet conclusive, and could very well be coincidental. However, even if that is the case, the environmental impact of fracking is dubious at best. How much longer can we depend on such unsustainable fuels?