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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Jo Recovering
Jo Sabout a year ago

Thank you Molly.

Danny Wilson
Danny Wilson2 years ago

Thank you.

Kelli J.
Kelli J2 years ago

Thanks! Good to read

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

ERIKA SOMLAI2 years ago

thank you for sharing

Margaret M. F.
Margaret M. F2 years ago

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?

Dave C.
David C3 years ago

open your eyes, wake up, STOP FRACKING

J. J.
J. J.3 years ago

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