Posted by: Bob Payne | September 3, 2011

Fracking stirs controversy in South Africa

A controversial method for extracting natural gas — hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ — is stirring an environmental and property rights debate in South Africa. The controversy stems from concerns over the safety of the technology, which uses large amounts of clean water mixed with sand and various chemicals to crack the rocks underground to release the gas. Various reports from the United States — where the method has spread widely over the past decade — suggest that the method pollutes water supplies, potentially endangering local environments and people’s health.

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