The video and music were created by New York University’s Studio 20 in collaboration with ProPublica, which has been investigating and reporting on the effects of hydraulic fracturing for the past three years.
My view is that fracking can be safe, if done correctly, but there is a significant temptation for lightly capitalized companies to take short cuts that result in harm to the hosting communities. The heavy truck traffic associated with the drilling, fracking and waste water removal often damages rural roads. Improperly finished wells can have casing leaks. Waste water can be spilled into local streams and rivers. Waste water that is dumped into treatment plants that were not designed to handle it can pass through with less successful treatment than expected.
Despite the fact that geology rarely follows state boundaries and that water and air resources never do, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 put fracking regulation into the hands of the states, some of which were ill equipped to deal with the responsibility. In areas of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, there might be experienced and sufficient regulators for the oil and gas industry, but that is certainly not true in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York.