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[–] xyzzy 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

It's a method of oil "production". In traditional oil fields the oil is all at the same place, so if you drill two holes and put water in one, oil comes out of the other. But if that's not possible because the oil is distributed in a lot of small drops far underground, there is fracking. It's similar, there are two holes and water is pushed down one of them. But for fracking there is higher pressure and chemicals need to be added to the water; what comes back up the other hole is a water/oil/chemical mix of which the oil can be extracted. This is a lot more expensive than the traditional way, but when the oil price is high still lucrative.

It's bad because not all of the water/oil/chemical mix goes up the pipe, some of it also ends up in the ground water. This seems to increase the cancer rate near fracking sites. Also some nearby residents are able to light their tap water in fire because it's not only oil but also gas.

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[–] daskapitalist 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Might want fo caveat that - anything ending up in ground water is a serious breach of drilling practices. Done properly the drilling is too deep to make it into groundwater.

As to flaming taps, that's methane from rotting biomatter - not anything from drilling.