ISSUE: Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process that injects water, sand, and chemicals into underground rock (usually shale) at high pressure to extract natural gas. It's highly controversial. Supporters say it provides the US with a cheap source of fuel while opponents say it pollutes air and water. Now, as fracking goes global, communities in Britain, South Africa, and Poland have to decide between environmental concerns and big financial incentives from the energy companies.


Watch the below original Earth Focus investigative reports. Then, browse this page for more information and to find out what you can do:

Fracking Hell? - South Africa's Gas DilemmaFracking Hell? - South Africa's Gas Dilemma

Caught between the promise of prosperity that natural gas extraction in the Karoo Basin might bring and concerns about environmental and health impacts, citizen resistance to fracking is growing in the Republic of South Africa. Earth Focus correspondent Jeff Barbee reports. (Watch)


Fracking Hell? - Poland's Dash for Gas

Fracking Hell? - Poland's Dash for Gas

Fracking multinationals covet the sizable shale deposits lying deep in Poland's underbelly. Advocates say this will bring prosperity, but opponents cite the US experience -- where fracking is marred by environmental and social concerns -- fearing the end of Poland's rural communities. (Watch)

*Read a related blog post by The Ecologist's Andrew Wasley


Fracking Hell? - Britain's Gas Rush

Fracking Hell? - Britain's Gas Rush

Britain's picturesque terrain faces uncertainty with the arrival of fracking. Views of gas wells, drilling sites, and waste lagoons hang heavy in a land typically associated with small-scale farming and "cottage" industries. Now, citizen activists are fighting to ensure their landscape isn't altered forever. (Watch)

*Read a related blog post by UK campaign Frack Off

Fracking Hell: The Untold Story

Fracking Hell: The Untold Story

A look at the risks of natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale: from toxic chemicals in drinking water to unregulated interstate dumping of potentially radioactive waste, are the health consequences worth the economic gains? (Watch)

*Read a related blog post by Pulitzer Center grantee Dimiter Kenarov

Special: Split Estate (Promo)

Special: Split Estate (Promo)

This compelling Emmy Award-winning documentary shows the dirty side of hydraulic fracturing and natural gas, an energy source the industry touts as a clean alternative to fossil fuels.
Flash Player 9.0.115 or higher required.
Please download the latest Flash Player, and make sure your browser's JavaScript support is enabled.

No Flash?

View 768kbps MP4 video

View 160kbps MP4 video

Fracking Hell - The Big Story

This three-hour compilation special digs deep into the issues of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." The film Split Estate documents the devastating effects of fracking on the health of families and the environment in the Rocky Mountain West. Then, a series of original Earth Focus reports look at the latest impacts of fracking in South Africa, Poland, and the UK.




Airdates: No airdates currently scheduled.