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Court Ruling Could Set “Bad” Precedent for Fracking Operations

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Guess what, fracking companies, the dead say even less than the bribed. C'mon, what are you waiting for?
Guess what, fracking companies, the dead say even less than the bribed. C’mon, what are you waiting for?

Fracking companies have consistently asserted their operations are clean, and some courts have even held up “company rights,” but a new court ruling could end all of the bickering.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is perhaps the latest, “greatest,” innovation in natural gas extraction. Increased use of natural gas could be the key in stepping over to a lower-greenhouse-gas emissions infrastructure, but the extraction of said natural gas could be even worse than the solution presents. Still, while people bicker over whether fracking is good for the atmosphere and the environment, there are other concerns.

The chemicals and processes used while fracking the strata for natural gas have not been studied intensively, doing little to address concerns over groundwater contamination. In spite of the petty health concerns of “normal folk,” fracking companies have managed to hide behind their “corporate secrets.” In fact, a Wyoming court recently voted in favor of allowing fracking companies to hide behind their company secrets.

Another court decision, right in the heart of oil country, and a very public one at that, could put a crack in that shield. Bob and Lisa Parr took Aruba Petroleum to court, citing suffering numerous health problems that could only be related to the numerous fracking wells around their property. The whole family suffered from nausea, rashes, welts and lumps and a number of other ailments. Blood tests confirmed they were contaminated with the same chemicals found in the air and ground around them.

The jury awarded the family $3 million. Why haven’t we heard about other similar court cases? It’s obvious! Fracking companies happen to pay good money to keep people quiet, to the continued suffering of countless other families. The question is, thanks to this court case, will there be any changes to fracking operations in the future, or will companies simply sweep court cases under the rug in the name of profits?

Photo credit: masukomi / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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