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Source: CBS 7 News

The Effects of "Fracking" to the Environment 7/1/11


Posted: July 11, 2011
Originally Published: July 1, 2011

A controversial drilling technique accounts for 75% of the oil collected in West Texas, but the debate over “fracking” continues because of it's possible effects on the environment. A big decision by another state could give "fracking" some additional support.

The concern from many of the environmentalists around the country is whether or not fracking is affecting groundwater. And as the state of New York is planning on lifting their ban on hydraulic fracturing, many advocates are against the process.

"There's significant concerns with the impacts on water. It involves pumping millions of gallons of water into the ground laced with a cocktail of chemicals that are hazardous to the environment and public health," said Brian Smith, of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

A recent schoolhouse rock type song explaining the dangers of fracking has over 125,000 views on Youtube, but as oil and gas expert Morris Burns watches, he can’t help but disagree.

"They've never found a single case where fracking has done damage to ground water. There are some things in the oil field that have done damage to the ground water, but fracturing is not one of them," Burns said and he knows how important fracking is to the Basin and its economy. "Without fracturing these Wolfberry wells are not going to be productive and economic, so it's very important,” said Burns.

But for the environmental groups, they don't want to take any chances.

"We can not put a price on our water. We believe that any process that's going to seriously degrade or destroy our drinking supply is not worth the risk," said Smith.

New York is the only state that has banned fracking, but Pennsylvania is working on getting a statewide ban as well. Texas recently passed a bill forcing all oil and gas companies to disclose what chemicals are being used in the process.

To see the fracking video, go to: