Etching and digital print Chine-collé, 2011


Humpty Dumpty Fracking addresses the current debate on the consequences of a new and wildly spreading natural gas extraction-technique called hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Through this technique, geological layers containing dispersed gas are mechanically fractured to extract the gas trapped in the shale. Opponents claim that groundwater supplies have been polluted by fractures connecting the gas reserves with groundwater reservoirs. Many unregulated toxic substances are injected in the wells to flush out the gas and there is little oversight on proper treatment of waste material. Much is evaporated into the air.

Whatever the truth, there is no defense for the fact that “fracking” in the United States enjoys exemption of the Clean Water act. This technique of extracting shale gas should be done within the confines of all laws protecting water and air quality. Once the ground is fractured by this technique and injected with toxins, it cannot be undone.