Clean Technica | By: Steve Hanley | December 27, 2017:

The shale gas fracking revolution that began in the United States a decade ago has been one of the worst disasters for the environment since our Canadian friends figured out how to extract oil from the Alberta tar sands. The gas obtained has some benefits. When burned, it emits fewer carbon emissions than coal. And it is so cheap, it has undercut the price of coal, making coal-fired generating plants unprofitable.

But the list of benefits ends there. Fracking creates millions of gallons of highly toxic wastewater which is pumped back underground, putting aquifers that millions of people depend on for drinking water at risk. It causes earthquakes in the surrounding area and makes the water from many wells undrinkable. In some cases, the gunk coming out of people’s faucets is actually flammable. Lastly, fracking releases millions of tons of methane — a greenhouse gas 12 times more harmful than carbon dioxide — into the atmosphere.

Shale gas is the poster child for an economic system that assigns no costs to the harm done to people and the environment. Fracking companies are free to rape and pillage the land to their hearts’ content without paying one penny in compensation, just like coal companies and oil companies. The result is a grossly distorted system that privatizes all the profits and socializes all the costs.

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