Marcellus Shale, the mineral rock hailed to be our savior from dependence on foreign countries for oil & gas might not exactly be the great solution we thought it was; for many reasons. The process that retrieves the shale gas is known as fracking. Fracking is when a hole is drilled into the ground to the point where the shale is located, and then drilled horizontally across the shale. Perforating guns conveyed by tubes are then stretched along the horizontal point where the explosives inside create perforated slits in the shale. Hydraulic water filled with chemicals and sand is blasted in the perforations to release and extract the gas (Chesapeake Energy hydraulic fracturing method).
A whole plethora of Issues have been documented since the start of Marcellus shale drilling. Chemicals plaguing domestic water sources have been one of the top issues to date. Families in Pennsylvania that live near a drilling site can hold a match up to their tap water source and literally have the water catch fire due to the amount of methane that has been leaked. Contaminated water spills are not uncommon either. Documented cases of frack water flowing into rivers have shown that the water would kill all life in the river and any body of water it flows into (Fracking Hell: The Untold Story).
Fracking is said to be the next great step in independent energy, but at what cost are we willing to obtain the Marcellus Shale gas?