Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Colombia Fracked?

U.K. activists protest against fracking.
(Photo: Popular Resistance)
Colombia will proceed with the controversial petroleum and natural gas production method called hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

There are lots of worries about fracking, including consumption of water, triggering of earthquakes and possible pollution of groundwater. But Colombia seems determined to ignore those concerns in its eagerness to pump up its fossil fuel production. And the announcement about fracking comes at a particularly sensitive time, as several regions of Colombia suffer a severe drought. A single fracked well consumes millions of U.S. gallons of water, which is forever lost to the water cycle.

But, like so many things, fracking's biggest harms come from very obvious causes which aren't hidden.

Fracking will deepen Colombia's dependence on raw material exports, which have produced economic growth, but few jobs and lots of environmental damage. Fracking will also make Colombia an even bigger contributor to global warming.

And the announcement comes just in time for the annual March Against Climate Change, to be held Sept. 21 in Bogotá in the Parque Nacional.

Sadly, like so many decisions here, I heard of no public hearings or other opportunities for public input on this one. Most likely, in the best style of Dick Cheney, they consulted only with the hydrocarbon producers.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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