Fracking is supposed to be an energy godsend, a cheap way to get lots of natural gas.
But property owners are finding it brings along with it such problems as flames coming out of their water hoses and wells, and poisonous chemicals in their drinking water.
There's a big fight going on nationwide, and Texas is one of the main arenas.
Village Voice Media's Brantley Hargrove takes a look at the issue this week, especially the case of Texan Steve Lipsky:
Despite the videos and hundreds, if not thousands, of voices shouting above the din of shale gas plays everywhere, the true causes of the flaming water were unverified, uncorroborated or, following an energy company settlement for damages, confidential. Officially, the fracking process had an untarnished record. Some six or more years into the boom, even the EPA had yet to fully study its potential impact on groundwater.
When the agency investigators got a call about Lipsky's well, that all changed. The EPA thought it had the smoking gun that validated environmentalists' worst fears. Texas officials couldn't have disagreed more, and a deep-pocketed energy company would stop at nothing to prove the feds wrong.
Read "Fire in the Hole" in this week's Houston Press.
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