Fracking hell: the big story

6th March 2013
A unique collaboration between The Ecologist and Link TV lifts the lid on fracking and the shale gas boom sweeping into Europe and beyond...

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process that injects water, sand, and chemicals into underground rock (usually shale) at high pressure to extract natural gas. But it is highly controversial. Supporters say it provides the US with a cheap source of fuel and helps provide jobs and prosperity, while opponents say it pollutes air and water.

Now, as fracking goes global, communities in South Africa, Poland - and beyond - have to decide between environmental concerns and big financial incentives from the energy companies.

The big picture

The Ecologist has partnered with Link TV's Earth Focus programme to contribute to the channel's Fracking hell: the big picture special:

  • Fracking hell? Poland's dash for gas Fracking multinationals covet the sizable shale deposits lying deep in Poland's underbelly. Advocates say this will bring prosperity, but opponents cite the US experience -- where fracking is marred by environmental and social concerns -- 
  • Fracking hell? The untold story A look at the risks of natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale: from toxic chemicals in drinking water to unregulated interstate dumping of potentially radioactive waste, are the health consequences worth the economic gains? Watch it 

Further reporting

  • How dairy farms suffer in US gas fracking boom. By Dimiter Kenarov. Read 
  • Youngstown: where promise and the curse of shale gas collide. By Dimiter Kenarov. Read
  • Livestock falling in in fracking regions, raising fears about food. By Elizabeth Royte. Read. 
  • How Poland's dash for gas turned sour. By Andrew Wasley. Read
  • Fracking our future: the corrosive influence of extreme energy. By Frack Off Read
  • Shale gas: the facts beyond the myths.By Monica V. Christina Read 
  • Middle England and activists unite to oppose shale gas rush. By Jan Goodey. Read. 
  • The environmental costs of the new US gas drilling boom. By Jim Wickens. Read. 
  • Shale gas may be 'dirtier than coal'. By Tom Levitt. Read


For full coverage of fracking by the Ecologist see here


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