groundwater en Report calls for fracking ban <p>An environmental group is calling on Michigan lawmakers and President Obama to ban the natural gas extraction process known as &ldquo;fracking.&rdquo;</p><p>Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves injecting a high-pressure mix of water, sand and chemicals into underground rock formations to release natural gas.</p><p><a href="">Food and Water Watch</a> says fracking poses an &ldquo;unacceptable risk&rdquo; to water supplies and human health. Several <a href="">recent investigations</a> have shown that fracking contaminated groundwater in several states.</p><p>Lynna Kaucheck is with Food and Water Watch in Detroit. She says northern Michigan is a current hotspot for fracking exploration.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;The northern part of the lower Peninsula sits on the Collingwood-Utica shale which is very deep deposits of shale gas. And so right now a lot of out of-state-companies are purchasing mineral rights so they can begin horizontal fracking for natural gas.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Kauchek says that could to lead to chemically-contaminated groundwater, and pose a risk to the state&rsquo;s agricultural and tourism industries.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t believe that fracking can be done safely. Especially not the way that they&rsquo;re doing it right now.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>State environmental regulators say the gas is so deep in the ground that fracking shouldn&rsquo;t affect water supplies. They acknowledge some concerns, but say the practice is generally safe. Mon, 13 Jun 2011 17:53:49 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 2858 at