Getting Informed About Natural Gas

BY ON March 1, 2013

"Dear, you cannot play on that until they regulate it" natural gas cartoon

These days, there is a great deal of controversy about fracking and natural gas production. Many of us are fighting to ban fracking from our communities. Many more of us are living in places where drilling for gas has been going on for decades, with or without horizontal fracturing. Banning isn’t a remote possibility–and neither is living without the power we depend on, every single day. So what is a mother to do?

Talking to my friends, and reading about fracking in the “blogosphere,” I’ve been struck by how much confusion–and misunderstanding–there is about natural gas production. So Moms Clean Air Force created a comprehensive Natural Gas Question & Answer resource.

We explain exactly why parents should be concerned about health and safety issues in natural gas development—in the clear, accessible language that you’ve come to expect from us.

The controversy over natural gas development has been focused on water contamination. But gas production has also created severe air pollution in many communities across the country–from remote areas in Utah and Wyoming, which once had pristine air, to heavily populated urban areas in Colorado and in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas—where elevated levels of ozone and benzene, a known carcinogen, have been measured near gas production sites. So we’ve also created a short guide to air pollution and natural gas.

Across the country, communities are fighting for what should be basic rights: full disclosure—and monitoring—of the chemicals being mixed in water during drilling; full disclosure–and monitoring–of the chemicals being spewed into the air, chemicals that contribute to everything from aggravated asthma to cancers; full disclosure—and monitoring–of how much of the gas itself, methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is spilling into our atmosphere and contributing to climate change.

Fossil fuel industries claim that regulations are “overreaching” and too expensive. We believe that with year upon year of record profits, these companies can invest in the cleanest, safest ways to harvest fossil fuels—and stop fighting for the right to pollute our air.

For those parents fighting for bans or moratoria on fracking: be armed with the facts. And for those of us fighting to force the gas industry to develop safer, cleaner ways to harvest natural gas energy—at every stage of its production: natural gas, harvested properly, can help keep the lights on, while we push for the fastest possible deployment of renewable energy from the sun and the wind. And we are fighting for the right of communities across the country to ban fracking, for the sake of their children’s health.

No one does research better than a mom, especially when it comes to the health of her children. We believe that being armed with the facts is the best way to fight air pollution–especially when it begins in our own back yards.

Please take a look at our documents and we welcome your comments below on how to make it even more useful to you.


TOPICS: Clean Air Rules and Regulations, Colorado, Fracking, Natural Gas, Pollution, Renewable Energy, Science, Utah, Wyoming

  • Jonnie

    Hydraulic fracking CANNOT be done safely. Let’s look at water.

    The Oil & Gas Companies have infiltrated the Universities and their research. The University of Texas, Austin put out a groundwater study indicating water was not being tainted by fracking. Last year, this study was pulled, the lead researcher was let go from the university, the head of the dept stepped down. Another groundwater study, referred to in the movie FrackNation, by Penn State, was also pulled, labeled junk science, the head researcher was fired, the head of the dept stepped down. At SUNY New York, the Oil & Gas Industry was kicked out of the university, called FRACKDEMIA.

    Millions of gallons of water are being used, from 2 – 9 million gallons, although Encana has been using more than 21 million gallons per well in Michigan. In the water, tons of fracking chemicals are mixed (found under your kitchen sink according to the industry). . It is the produced water, or flowback, and the manner in which the industry is disposing of this material, that should cause significant worry. Injection wells are used for the dumping of this material . Our groundwater is being poisoned, from the drilling and the dumping of the flowback.

    Nestle chief executive Paul Bulcke of Belgium was the keynote speaker at London’s annual City Food Lecture on Tuesday. He warned the world
    about the possible consequences of the global water shortages – the greatest
    threat to food security in the future.

    This industry destroys huge amounts of water and pollutes the earth – of which the consequences are dire. It should be immediately stopped, Banned around the planet.

  • Jonnie

    This is the answer – and it needs to happen immediately.

  • The concern with pollution is very real. On top of that, gas is not as good a “transition” fuel as its proponents would have you believe: Fugitive emissions of up to 9% (at some Utah fields) make fracked natural gas a worse proposition than coal, because methane’s global warming potential is much greater than carbon dioxide’s.