Fracking illustration: Wade Mickley

Should Fracking be Banned?

Fracking is the controversial practice of fracturing rock with pressurized fluid to extract natural gas.

Yes: 69%

The idea that we would pump untold amounts of often-carcinogenic chemicals into the ground to release what amounts to just another non-renewable resource is ludicrous.

The non-renewable resource we should be most concerned about right now is water, specifically the water that is contaminated and poisoned by the fracking solutions we are so hurriedly pumping into the earth with reckless abandon.

All the water that ever has been is on the earth right now. You think fossil fuels are important to our way of life? Try going without water for 72 hours and see how your life is then. We need to end the gold-rush mentality that surrounds natural gas and fracking, before it’s too late. —Jesse Cecil, Richmond, Va.

Scientific data does not account for company greed and the shortcuts those companies take in the pursuit of profit. Big corporations have enough power and money to be above laws and regulations. Just look at the people who live near the fracking sites and you will find the answer on whether it’s safe or not. —Rena, Charlottesville, Va.

Fracking is far too dangerous, and the natural gas it provides won’t last very long. We must explore renewable, sustainable energy alternatives. Anyone who believes anything else is in denial. —Finn, Floyd, Va.

Fracking is deadly and destrucutive. It’s absurd that we’re poisoning communities when we could be investing in healthy, long-lasting, renewable energy. —Amanda Goetz, Asheville, N.C.

No: 31%

It would be great if we could ban it, but we need it. Without fossil fuels our energy costs will skyrocket, and our economy will worsen. Until we can depend on green energy, we need practices such as fracking. It should be regulated, but it can’t be banned. —Jay, Charlottesville, Va.