Claiming that the information is proprietary, drilling companies have still not come out and fully disclosed what fracking fluid is made of. But activists and researchers have been able to identify some of the chemicals used. They include such substances as benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, boric acid, monoethanolamine, xylene, diesel-range organics, methanol, formaldehyde, hydrochloric acid, ammonium bisulfite, 2-butoxyethanol, and 5-chloro-2-methyl-4-isothiazotin-3-one. (Recently, in congressional testimony, drilling companies have confirmed the presence of many of these chemicals.) According to Theo Colborn, a noted expert on water issues and endocrine disruptors, at least half of the chemicals known to be present in fracking fluid are toxic; many of them are carcinogens, neurotoxins, endocrine disruptors, and mutagens. But Colborn estimates that a third of the chemicals in fracking fluid remain unknown to the public.
While the E.P.A. under Obama is finally undertaking a new review of fracking—a 2001 review commissioned by the Bush administration was tainted by conflicts of interest and suppression of science—that report is not expected to be completed until the end of 2012.
Get that? Water wells contaminated by natural gas. Poisonous, and potentially explosive gases in your bore water.
Does the Australian Government want the Great Artesian Basin (and other groundwater supplies in Australia) contaminated with methane, or even Diesel fuel and other toxic chemicals? If not, why does it turn a blind eye to this? CSG drilling is happening right now, in NSW (near Stroud) and in the Namoi Valley and the Pilliga (part of the Great Artesian Basin) and all across central-western Queensland. The State Politicians are falling over themselves in the rush to approve as many exploration licences as they can. And the Federal Environment Minister (Peter Garrett) is refusing to intervene.
Wake up, Australia, before you destroy your precious groundwater resources, on which a vast amount of Australia's rural industries depend.
For more on the impact of the Coal Seam Gas industry on farm lands and farming productivity, please visit the Caroona Coal Action Group website. In particular check out this CSG page on that site, and follow some of the links, especially on Health Effects of CSG mining.
Please view this video linked from the original Vanity Fair story. It takes 11 minutes, but you will find the stories of these people (in their own words) compelling evidence.