The challenge of extracting natural gas (methane) profitably from shale rock was solved approximately 10 or 15 years ago but the problems with nuclear power at Fukushima, Japan, after the tsunami and the the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, both in 2011, have increased the pressure to exploit that resource regardless of the consequences that hydraulic fracturing will have on the finite supplies of drinking water in the U.S. The current economic malaise is also pushing political leaders into making rash decisions.
The situation is New Jersey is as follows: The legislature introduced a bill banning hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – altogether. Governor Christie refused to sign the bill although apparently he did not veto it. He instead ordered a one-year moratorium . But since president Obama embraced fracking in his last State of the Union Address – after throwing the bone of the disclosure of chemicals used to the environmental groups – I believe it is a matter of time before governor Christie approves fracking in New Jersey as well.
The chemicals used are 10% of the problem. The other 90% are the chemicals that occur naturally in the rock strata. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of chemicals, most of them inorganic salts which will be ‘fracked” at the same time as methane, dissolve in the acidic torrent, and enter our waterways and aquifers. We are talking about millions of gallons of fracking fluids.
The negative consequences for New Jersey could be devastating. We can change our energy producing methods, fuels, accept higher prices, etc. But could can not live without water; it is biologically impossible. Property values will dive and entire areas of the state could become uninhabitable, same as the most arid desert is except that everything will still be green; just the water will be poison.
If elected governor of New Jersey in 2013, I will ban fracking in the entire state. But my election is certainly not a done deal and even if I become the next governor, there is a window of two years when governor Christie may take the fateful step of allowing hydraulic fracturing in New Jersey.
To send a message to governor Christie opposing hydraulic fracturing in New Jersey, please use this link:
20, 30 years from now, the great challenge will be to provide water for the ever increasing needs. If we lose our focus on the future, we may not have one.