Conspiracy theorists believe that fracking is the cause of earthquakes and pollution in groundwater. Uncaring corporations are causing these problems at the expense of the public. Recently, the Supreme Court of Oklahoma enabled residents to sue the fracking companies if they had suffered damages caused by earthquakes brought about by fracking. How difficult it will be to prove in court that these earthquakes are the result of fracking remains to be seen. It is believed that the natural gas mixes into the ground water and that if a flame is put to faucet water in these locations, it will catch fire.
Hydraulic fracturing (also hydrofracturing, hydrofracking, fracking or fraccing) is a well-stimulation technique in which rock is fractured by a pressurized liquid. The process involves the high-pressure injection of 'fracking fluid' (primarily water, containing sand and other proppants suspended with the aid of gelling agents) into a wellbore to create cracks in the deep-rock formations through which natural gas, petroleum, and brine will flow more freely. When the hydraulic pressure is removed from the well, small grains of hydraulic fracturing proppants (either sand or aluminium oxide) hold the fractures open.
Hydraulic fracturing began as an experiment in 1947, and the first commercially successful application followed in 1950. As of 2012, 2.5 million "frac jobs" had been performed worldwide on oil and gas wells; over one million of those within the U.S. Such treatment is generally necessary to achieve adequate flow rates in shale gas, tight gas, tight oil, and coal seam gas wells. Some hydraulic fractures can form naturally in certain veins or dikes.
Hydraulic fracturing is highly controversial in many countries. Its proponents advocate the economic benefits of more extensively accessible hydrocarbons. However opponents argue that these are out-weighed by the potential environmental impacts, which include risks of ground and surface water contamination, air and noise pollution, and potentially triggering earthquakes, along with the consequential hazards to public health and the environment.
Increases in seismic activity following hydraulic fracturing along dormant or previously unknown faults are sometimes caused by the deep-injection disposal of hydraulic fracturing flowback (a byproduct of hydraulically fractured wells), and produced formation brine (a byproduct of both fractured and nonfractured oil and gas wells). For these reasons, hydraulic fracturing is under international scrutiny, restricted in some countries, and banned altogether in others. Some countries have banned the practice or put moratoria in place, while others have adopted an approach involving tight regulation. The European Union is drafting regulations that would permit controlled application of hydraulic fracturing. - Source: Wikipedia