Monday, May 21, 2012

Mark Ruffalo: Fracking is a public health concern

Actor Mark Ruffalo appeared Wednesday on MSNBC to discuss his campaign against hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, a controversial method of natural gas extraction.

“Everywhere we’ve done it there has been contamination,” he said. “You have to ask yourself: ‘If we could do it safely, why aren’t we doing it? Why is this industry asking to be exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Hazardous Waste Act, the Superfund Act.’ They’re saying that because they can’t make money, they can’t make it economically profitable to do it safely.”

Fracking involves injecting a mixture of water and chemicals deep underground, triggering small explosions that drive gas pockets upwards.

The energy industry defends fracking as a safe method of natural gas extraction, but the U.S. Geological Survey and others in the energy industry believe that fracking, or deep underground liquid injection similar to fracking, can cause earthquakes. Others near fracking wells have detected high levels of methane in their water supplies, including several cases where water was so volatile it could be set on fire.

“This is a public health issue,” Ruffalo said. “There have been no credible public health studies done on this.”

He explained that his anti-fracking campaign, called Water Defense, was meant to fight the millions of dollars being spent by the energy industry to promote the method.

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