America isn’t the only country where fracking is creating great controversy. In the Land Down Under, fracking is also causing serious environmental hazards. In northeastern Australia, locals are complaining that fracking has led to an increase in methane gas in local rivers. Green Party MP Jeremy Buckingham recently proved the point, setting the Condamine River on fire. He posted the video on YouTube, which can be seen below.
The video shows spots of bubbling water being set ablaze. This bubbling is being caused by methane gas seeping through the river bed and coming to the surface. This fire lasted for over an hour. The river in this video is less than a mile away from an active fracking site.
Researchers funded by Australian gas companies insist the methane gas is occurring naturally due to seismic activity in the region. They also say it poses no public health risks. But does anybody believe scientists funded by natural gas companies are a reliable source on this matter? Jeremy Buckingham certainly doesn’t, and neither do locals who live nearby. They insist the methane bubbles started in 2012, the same year the fracking began. Farmers who have lived here for generations say they’ve never seen anything like this before. These people are seriously worried, for obvious reasons.
This is yet another example of the environmental impacts of fracking, whether it is in Australia or here in the U.S. Buckingham remarks that this could be the future of Australia if such fracking continues and the same can be said here.
Fracking in the U.S. has already led to contaminated water supplies, including tap water being set on fire (a phenomenon also caused by methane gas). It has also led to a significant increase in earthquakes and other seismic activity in parts of the country that aren’t generally used to it. Now you can add methane gas-induced river fires to the list of potential hazards.
Feature image screengrab