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8 More Problems with Fracking (Aside from the Obvious)

8 More Problems with Fracking (Aside from the Obvious)
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By now, we’ve all heard about the pitfalls of fracking: it hurts the environment, it ruins the water supply, it damages the health of local residents. Though those reasons should be enough to stop the practice, local communities continue to permit natural gas companies to drill on their land.

However, perhaps towns will take notice of some of the latest research. Food & Water Watch, a consumer rights group, studied fracking counties to determine some of the other, more social downsides to inviting gas companies into their backyards. The group concluded that “the fracking boom has transformed some rural communities into modern versions of Wild West mining towns.”

Here are some of the other fracking-related problems Food & Water Watch identified:

1. Housing Crisis

With a sudden burst of people moving to small towns to work the fracking wells, housing quickly becomes scarce. The short supply and high demand allows property owners to double or even triple the cost of rent, leaving some life-long residents unable to afford to live in town anymore.

2. More People Turn to Public Assistance

While the natural gas employees are generally compensated sufficiently, it’s a fracking community’s other residents that suffer financially. In addition to driving up the cost of housing, the new money in town spurs inflation in other areas. Consequently, poor residents in the community who used to be self-sufficient can no longer provide for themselves in their hometown and must rely on public assistance to get by.

3. Traffic Jams

Small towns that have never needed many roadways suddenly find themselves overloaded with trucks required for day-to-day fracking business. Since trucks must make thousands of trips to haul away hazardous material from each well, they wind up monopolizing the streets. As a result, residents complain of traffic congestion, citing kids unable to get to school on time and emergency vehicles unable to reach critical areas in a timely manner.

4. Truck Crashes

The increased traffic yields increased collisions. Though the national rate of traffic accidents is decreasing, some of the highest rates of vehicular accidents occur in fracking towns. This statistic is especially true for large fracking trucks trying to navigate overcrowded and narrow rural roads. Considering that these trucks carry waste material and natural gas, crashes can be particularly disastrous. Experts estimate that these accidents wind up costing fracking counties an additional $28 million annually.

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69 comments

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7:32AM PDT on May 29, 2014

interesting article, thanks for sharing :)

11:21AM PDT on Oct 1, 2013

good post - ty

8:13AM PDT on Sep 30, 2013

Thanks for sharing!

8:05AM PDT on Sep 30, 2013

environmental issues are so important - we only have one planet - once it's damaged beyond repair, it's too late.

5:21AM PDT on Sep 30, 2013

Thanks for a very good article ! It's so true all this and Fracking is very evil and has got to be stopped !

12:53AM PDT on Sep 30, 2013

Thanks for posting this.

8:30PM PDT on Sep 29, 2013

More reasons to be against fracking. Of course, there is also the chance of bringing above-ground pollution and spills to your area when flooding occurs, like the spills currently happening after the floods in Colorado.

5:50PM PDT on Sep 29, 2013

Thanks.

4:08PM PDT on Sep 29, 2013

Thank you Kevin for a great article with many more reason not to want fracking in your town or anywhere else in this great country. I have always been against fracking, because of what it does to our fresh water supply, and the land, now to add these terrible things to it, is just too much to bear.....it has to be stopped now and permanently.....forever........,period. Also thanks to the 60 care 2 members who commented on this subject, I enjoyed reading all of your comments.

2:17PM PDT on Sep 29, 2013

I emailed the Food and Water Watch report to my governor, Andy Cuomo, yesterday. He's been considering allowing fracking in the Marcellus shale for years. Fortunately, the longer he waits, and the more opposition grows, the less I worry. If NY ever does give the go ahead, it will only be in a very limited area along the southern border with PA. Hostility is just too great elsewhere.

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