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:
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 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)
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)
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)
This three-hour compilation special digs deep into the issues of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." The filmSplit 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 Focusreports look at the latest impacts of fracking in South Africa, Poland, and the UK.