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Half of America Doesn’t Know What Fracking Is

Half of America Doesn’t Know What Fracking Is

By Brian Merchant, TreeHugger

If you read green news, even if only sporadically, you’ve heard of “fracking.” If you follow progressive politics, you’ve heard of fracking. If you know much about modern energy production, you’ve heard of fracking. If you’re an environmentalist, you’ve probably protested fracking.

But those descriptions don’t apply to the 63% of Americans who’ve never heard of, or aren’t familiar with, the practice known as hydraulic fracturing. That’s the eye-opening finding of a new poll, and one that was carried out with a pretty decent sample size to boot. Here’s how the results break down:

Culture of Science/via

That’s crazy. Fracking has fundamentally transformed the energy debate—and energy production—around the world. It has helped create the glut of natural gas we’re currently sitting on, and that in turn is helping to drive coal out of business. It also poses numerous health and environmental risks that everyone—especially those who live in fracking-impacted areas—should be aware of. It can contaminate groundwater, spur small earthquakes, blast methane emissions into the sky, etc.

The poll reveals that there’s a lot of work yet to be done on energy education (that’s a massive understatement all around)—the public can’t make informed decisions about the controversial practice if it doesn’t even said controversial practice exists, after all.

So, for those of you reading this who’ve never heard of fracking: It’s the process wherein companies blast a highly pressurized chemical cocktail deep down into the earth, in order to fracture the rock layer to gain access to reserves of oil or gas. Pass it on.


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12:30PM PDT on Jun 13, 2015

Thank you Molly.

2:02PM PST on Dec 5, 2014

Thank you.

11:57PM PDT on May 31, 2014

Thanks! Good to read

9:39PM PDT on Mar 20, 2014

Thank you.

9:37PM PDT on Mar 20, 2014

Thank you.

9:36PM PDT on Mar 20, 2014

Thank you.

4:38AM PST on Jan 29, 2014

thank you for sharing

2:28AM PST on Jan 19, 2014

Thank-you for this posting. When are the powers that be in Washington, D,C, going to come to their senses (is that possible?) & do what needs to be done to stop any & all Fracking??? They really need to start stopping such practices before they cause the earth to be totally destroyed. They may not care for present times, however, what will be left for future generations were these destructive practices allowed to continue?

7:01PM PST on Nov 17, 2013

open your eyes, wake up, STOP FRACKING

8:05PM PDT on Jul 25, 2013

I admit that until recently I didn't know what fracking fact I don't think that I had even heard the word until reading a few articles on Care2 so thank you Care2.

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