For almost a decade a new energy boom has been underway using new technology known as “Fracking.” This invasive and disruptive technology is already having negative impacts on people and the environment. Most of the public and regulatory attention has focused on human health impacts through drinking, breathing and other means of exposure. Real life experience in communities across the country also demonstrates the social and economic problems that come along with fracking as just as uncertain and unwanted. This is particularly true for those states where the Fracking boom has been underway the longest (i.e., North Dakota and Pennsylvania.) States like North Carolina that are rushing into Fracking should slow down and learn from the troubles of others!
This article compiles the most insightful and credible news stories and research reports about documented social problems that go along with Fracking. This is not surprising to Rural Sociologist (like yours truly.) For over three decades, sociologists and others have systematically evaluated the social and economic impacts of a wide range of actions – particularly related to mining. In fact, the formal practice of Social Impact Analysis (SIA) was mandated under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) signed by Richard Nixon in 1970. This required Federal government agencies to conduct Social Impact Assessment as part of their Environmental Impact Assessment (e.g., Army Corps, NOAA, Depart. of Interior and others.) In addition, SIA has become strongly established in Europe, Australia and elsewhere.