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Things Mark Ruffalo taught us about the environment: Fracking

The actor explained to us about the danger of hydraulic fracturing or industrial gas drilling.

When Mark Ruffalo visited us to guest-edit tomorrow's Earth Day issue, we weren't quite sure what to expect. As it turns out, he was incredibly dedicated to the task and educated on all New York's major environmental issues. (Much more educated than many of us on the staff in fact, which was a little embarrassing!)

One issue Ruffalo stressed was the danger of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," a drilling process in which a combination of water, chemicals and sand is pumped into rock to release oil or natural gas trapped inside. The process has drawn fire from environmentalists, who warn that chemicals involved in the process can pollute drinking water.

It was a timely message, as just today one mining company suspended its "fracking" operations after an accident dumped thousands of gallons of "fracking fluid" into a local creek. As Reuters reports:

Chesapeake Energy suspended the use of a controversial natural-gas production technique in Pennsylvania on Thursday as it worked to contain a well blowout that spilled toxic fluid into a local waterway.

Chesapeake, one of the state's biggest shale gas producers, will use a mix of plastic, ground-up tires and heavy mud to plug the well - an operation that echoes BP's ``top kill'' effort to seal its ruptured Gulf of Mexico oil well last year.

The company said it still did not know the cause of the blowout a day and a half after it occurred.

The accident in northeastern Pennsylvania has stoked an already fierce debate in the United States over hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking'' — a process to release gas trapped in shale formations by blasting a mix of water, sand and chemicals into the rock.


Like any good friend, Ruffalo was kind enough to forward us a video he thinks we should watch. Check it out:

More Ruffalo:

Metros's Earth Day coverage

Mark Ruffalo helps us celebrate National High Five Day

Metro's favorite Mark Ruffalo moments

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