Fracking, or Fracing as the oil and gas industry ungrammatically spells it, is short for hydraulic fracturing, and the technology is now being used extensively to extract shale gas, by pumping liquids at high pressure into the rock, creating and expanding fissures. The liquid is a mix of chemicals designed to carry a proppant, perhaps sand or ceramics, designed to keep the cracks open after the injection stops.
Controversially, it is exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act, unless diesel fuel is used. (we noted that diesel was used in our first post on the subject: Jargon Watch: Fracking) Unsurprisingly, that didn't stop anyone. The Arkansas Times reports:
Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA), Edward Markey (D-MA) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency today following an investigation into the use of diesel in fracturing fluids. The investigation found that a number of companies injected millions of gallons of diesel into the ground.
More in the Arkansas Times