Hydraulic fracturing is a process that results in the creation of fractures in rocks. The most important industrial use is in stimulating oil and gas wells, where hydraulic fracturing has been used for over 60 years in more than one million wells. Man-made fluid-driven fractures are formed at depth in a borehole and extend into targeted formations. Hydrofracked? One Man's Mystery Leads to a Backlash Against Natural Gas Drilling (Kindle Single), by Abrahm Lustgarten from ProPublica, tells the story of one man's fight to find the cause of the polluted water well on his Wyoming property. ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. This true story is offered as a FREE Kindle Singles book. The book is approximately 40 pages long and can be read in about an hour.
Louis Meeks, a Vietnam War hero, has lived on his 40-acre plot of land near Pavillion, Wyoming, for over 35 years. In the spring of 2005, Meeks' water had turned bad. His tap ran cloudy, and the water shimmered with rainbow swirls across a filmy top. The scent was sharp, like gasoline. Mr. Meeks suspected that environmental factors were to blame. Since the mid 1990's, more than 1000 gas wells had been drilled in the region. Meeks learned that in hydraulic fracturing, a brew of chemicals is injected deep into the earth to lubricate the fracturing and work its way into the rock. How far it goes and where it ends up, no one really knows. Meeks wondered if that wasn't what ruined his well.
This is a heart-wrenching story about one man's struggle to fight big government agencies and the oil and gas industries. The Meeks family has endured endless financial and personal defeats but they continue to fight. They have joined forces with some of their neighbors who also have polluted water. In November, 2010, Mr. Meeks had a heart attack. His doctors told him it was probably caused by stress. Mr. and Mrs. Meeks are still living on their ranch near Pavillion. They are drinking bottled water but do not have clean water to bath in, or to water the garden or to feed the animals. A realtor said that because of the water problems, the property is worthless and could not be sold.
This story makes me feel very angry. This could happen to anyone. I live in a rural area and I am dependant on a water well. How could you deal with something like this? How would YOU feel if no one would accept responsibility for a disaster like this? Why are government agencies that are supposed to protect us turning their backs? How much influence do the big oil companies really have?
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