Last night I debated an oil shale proponent on CBNC on Texas’ Eagle Ford shale development, which, in its infancy, has already become a major new potential source of domestic oil production. But, as I’ve mentioned before,when we talk about drilling for gas or oil shale, what we’re really talking about is using and polluting enormous volumes of water. An individual well can use up to 6 million gallons of water, mixed with toxic chemicals and particulates (such as sand) during the fracking process. Much of that water in Eagle Ford is clean drinking water from the Carrizo Willcox aquifer. And roughly 85% of that toxic water injected into the ground during fracking remains down there in the formation. In our drive to reduce oil imports, we most likely will drive up water imports as fracking-mania sucks our fragile drinking water resources dry. As long as industry continues to lobby Congress to keep fracking unregulated, it is all the more critical for concerned citizens out there to demand that Congress simply subject fracking to regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Tyson Slocum directs Public Citizen’s energy program. Follow him on Twitter @tysonslocum