Fracking is a big, rising industry in the United States both in scale and the sheer amount of landscape that stands to change. Utah in particular is starting to look more like Swiss cheese as it continues to open up more oil and natural gas fracking sites. To show just how devastating fracking can be, Daily Kos put together a small batch of Google Earth images showcasing immensely large and eerily multicolored waste pools of some fracking sites. The image you see above shows just one of the sites that is nearly a mile wide on each side. The scale of the pools is also comically large compared to nearby truck containers.
Fracking is short for hydraulic fracking. It’s a process that involves injecting gallons of water, sand, and chemicals at enormous pressure to extract oil and natural gas from shale rock formations. This hugely abundant new source of energy could help bolster the US as an energy independent country while reducing the cost of gas and carbon dioxide emissions.
At the same time there are very real environmental concerns as fracking reshapes the landscape both above and underground. It can also contaminate the ground water supply, disrupt the ground to create more earthquakes, and release massive amounts of noxious methane, which not only smells nasty enough to make you hurl, but is also one of the biggest contributing greenhouse gasses.
According to the Daily Kos, Utah has been on a fracking frenzy and recently obtained permits for at least 1,300 more wells near the Green River. So far, fracking in the area has already dramatically lowered the air quality in the Uintah basin. Meanwhile, there are water-related concerns about the new sites as the Green River flows into Colorado River, and later Lake Powell, a popular recreational area.
via Daily Kos