Gallery: This American Life Digs Deep into the Issues Behind Hydrofrack...


On their latest weekly episode, Public Radio International’s popular show, This American Life, digs deep into the issue of hydraulic fracturing — or fracking as it is commonly referred to. Fracking is a process that removes natural gas from the earth by fracturing rock layers deep underground with high pressure mixtures of water and dangerous chemicals. Opponents say the process irreparably damages drinking water and has a life cycle that is more damaging than that of coal — even though natural gas burns cleaner when used. The issue is surely heating up in the presses these days with New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo reportedly toying with lifting his state’s moratorium on fracking and environmental organizations around the country furiously fighting the spread of fracking from California to New Jersey — where they recently banned fracking. This week’s episode of This American Life lifts the shroud of confusion around the issue of fracking by interviewing those on both sides as well as scientists who helped engineer the process who are now touring the country speaking out against it. Listen to the story after the jump.

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  1. IrisMum July 19, 2011 at 7:48 am

    It’s called bromide, and after the wastewater from fracking enters the treatment cycle and mixes with chlorine, it does become a carcinogen which can cause bladder cancer over time and reproductive defects.

  2. Shane S July 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    So, you know there is no such thing as “bromium”, right? Nice trick to discover a new element AND that it causes cancer all at one go!
    If that represents the level of chemical knowledge, maybe TAL is not where to turn for science and technology reporting.

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