AP reports global protests over fracking—an issue of water, public health, and community wealth as fraught as that dividing the town in An Enemy of the People.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — More than 100 protests against the natural gas drilling process known as fracking are scheduled to take place around the world on Saturday, building on public concerns but also using an overly simplified message to spur outrage.
The GlobalFrackdown website and campaign was developed by Food & Water Watch, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit that was once part of Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen group. The campaign claims that fracking “has already damaged communities and ruined lives. It pollutes water and makes people sick.”
Scientists disagree on the risks of fracking, a process that injects large volumes of water, sand, and chemicals underground to break rock apart and free the gas. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and many state regulators, however, say that fracking can be done safely. The American Lung Association says natural gas has helped reduce air pollution as many dirtier coal-fired power plants shift to natural gas.
The immense volumes of natural gas found in formations of shale rock around the country has spurred a boom in natural gas production that has been credited with creating jobs and lowering prices for industry and consumers.