Fracturing Shale for Natural Gas or ‘Fracking’ involves injecting huge amounts of water containing chemicals deep into the ground in order to extract natural gas or oil from shale rock formations.
In October 2011, HEAL organized a seminar to discuss the health and environmental implications of shale fracturing for natural gas in Europe, related to both the exploration and exploitation phases.
Key issues related to health include the potential effects of water and land contamination, air pollution, noise, the release of radioactive substances and toxic heavy metals from underground, and accidents and damage associated with fires and explosions and earthquakes, as well as changes in land use and impacts on nature conservation and biodiversity.
In addition, fracturing for gas and oil represent further investment in fossil fuels, which continues greenhouse gas emissions and their contribution to climate change and its associated effects on health.
HEAL is calling for a moratorium on all exploration and exploitation licensing in all EU countries and a comprehensive review of EU policies which pertain to fracking.
We are working closely with partner organisations in Europe, the US, and elsewhere, including Sandra Steingraber and the Collaborative on Health and Environment. In the US, nearly 40% of all domestic natural gas is obtained by fracking.
- Study - Impacts of shale gas and shale oil extraction on the environment and on human health
- Hydraulic Fracturing: Impacts on the Environment and Human Health
- Policy note – Hydraulic Fracturing
EU public consultation on unconventional fossiel fuels e.g. shale gas in Europe
All stakeholders are invitied to contribute with their views on the possible opportunities and challenges of such projects - Deadline 23 March 2013
The European Commission is taking a “wait-and-see” approach on the use of hydraulic fracking and shale gas, which will allow the shale gas industry to continue exploring and to start extracting shale gas. Tell the European Commission that you don’t want this extreme source of high-carbon energy to be developed in the EU. Submit the draft letter from Food & Water Watch, who will send it directly to the responsible EU commissioners. Act now!