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Fracking controversy in South Africa

The fracking controversy has cropped up in Africa, according to a story in the Huffington Post.

The story says South Africa has lifted its moratorium on the hydraulic fracturing method of natural gas extraction, commonly known as “fracking.” The Treasure the Karoo Action Group intends to fight that decision, taking it to South Africa’s highest court if necessary.

Fracking involves injecting millions of gallons of chemically treated water underground, breaking up rock formations and releasing the natural gas trapped there. Opponents have a number of environmental concerns, including the possibility of the toxic chemicals used in the process contaminating area water supplies.

Among those toxic chemicals is benzene, a known carcinogen.

The practice has generated a great deal of protest in the United States, particularly for operations located in Marcellus Shale — a natural gas deposit that extends into New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

The Treasure the Karoo Action Group is dedicated to protecting the ecologically-sensitive, arid area in the Karoo region of the Eastern Cape, where most of the natural gas is located.

According to the story, TKAG formed only a year and a half ago, and gained thousands of Facebook followers within its first few days. And the group has already racked up some significant victories, including getting the moratorium enacted in April.

The group opposed a public relations campaign by Shell, the largest and most forceful proponent of natural gas extraction in South Africa. TKAG brought in scientists to study Shell’s environmental plan and delivered a 100-page report outlining its failings to South African president Jacob Zuma.

The group also issued a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa, which found Shell guilty of four counts of false advertising and ordered it to remove newspaper advertisements claiming that hydraulic fracturing had never caused water contamination.

Lopez McHugh is investigating injuries related to natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale. If you have significant injuries, contact a Lopez McHugh attorney for a free evaluation.

See the story here: