This Is What Fracking Really Looks Like

Jodie Simons demonstrates how her sink water, full of methane, lights on fire. Nina Berman/NOOR



“What struck me very personally as an outsider was how any kind of industrial activity feels like an enormous intrusion, almost like a creature from outer space; these drills at night are almost supernatural,” Berman said.

“I looked for points where the industrial activity impacted these quiet rural landscapes, and I found at night was when things came alive, so I combined those pictures with more conventional documentary [style of ]subject-driven photography about people who were having serious health impacts.”

Fracking’s health impact, specifically its impact on water, is one of many controversies surrounding the process of drilling into rock in order to release gas.  While some argue it is an alternative to dependence on oil, the methods of drilling involving water, sand, and chemicals to break up the rock has also been argued as the culprit for contaminated water.

“Those of us who are used to clean water have no concept of what that feels like when your water coming from your well on your land is destroyed and you can’t do anything about it,” Berman said.

For full article, go to


17 thoughts on “This Is What Fracking Really Looks Like

    • In New York, there have been a number of organizations that have been trying to stop fracking, but maybe the problem is that too many people don’t understand what fracking is and don’t care enough to look it up.

      Maybe us bloggers can help, who knows. I’ll keep writing about it.

  1. They, whoever they are, say that a picture is worth a thousand words. I say that this Fracking has gone on long enough, it is way past time for people to wake up, look closely at pictures like this one and help put a stop to this poison going into our drinking water?

  2. Tanya,
    Thank you for bringing “fracking” to people’s attention. The paramount issue for people to consider with regard to this activity is that water=life. Nina Berman’s words, where she described “water coming from your well on your land is destroyed”, sums up the debate on fracking. Solar, wind, and other proven clean energy choices are available. Just ask the people in Germany.

    • The companies that frack use well over 20 chemicals (possibly as many as 100) that get injected into the ground. The chemicals are extremely strong and serve to break down the upper layers of earth in order to get to the layer of earth that has natural gas (which is extremely deep). The companies don’t divulge what specific chemicals are used when they are asked by the public, which to me suggests that they know the chemicals are harmful. They have also fought against any gov’t. regulation.

      I volunteered with a group called NYPIRG (a NY activism group) last semester. We demanded that the NY governor either ban fracking in N, or at least do some research and regulation, but so far the governor has not fully said yes- he’s been very vague.

      In the full article (see link), a couple interviewed in the community where fracking is going on say that they are giving bottled water to their horses!! They say that the drinking water is so bad that even their animals are getting sick! NYPIRG showed a documentary at my school that had a woman talk about how she has all kinds of unexplained aches and pains and health conditions. She says she knows that dirty drinking water and gas emissions from fracking that come up into her basement is what made her sick. There are several other stories like hers.

      I’m going to try to find more articles about fracking and post them.
      Thanks for commenting!

    • By the way, I emailed you an invite to Google Groups. I made a page for our group. I figure it’s less complicated than Google Hangouts, even though it has less features. I think all we need is a discussion forum. We’ll see how it works. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Shell SA Chairman on Al Jazeera “… never been a single case of water contamination as a direct result of Shell’s activity.” « Jonathan deal

  4. Clean water is our most endangered national resource. I believe the day will come when clean water will not be available in the United States. Fracking destroys the land, the people living on the land, and forever what crops may have been grown there. Contamination law suits are impossible for the family deep in debt from land that no longer produces and mounting medical bills. They don’t have the resources to fight Shell or any other company engaged in fracking.

  5. We feel like our head’s been in the sand. Coarse I guess there’s worse places for it to be! LOL~had no clue as to what fracking was. Enjoyed the post very much. It’s always nice to educate ones self, while enjoying a good read. Especially when it’s regarding causes that are so vitally important as this is. We found your site by way of mutual blogging friend “Rogers Writings”. We look forward to stopping by and reading more of your work while getting to know you better!

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