Recently, my friend showed me a video that explained the harm caused by coal bed methane extraction.
Methane, which serves as an excellent source for natural gas, is situated deep inside the earth(formed as a by-product when coal is formed), and we need to bore wells very deep inside the earth and relieve the trapped gas by extracting all the water above it. It’s trapped beneath the water’s pressure, and that is why the water is taken out, so that the methane could be offered a bit of liberty before being captured again by the humans. The remaining ground water that will be left deeper down will be easily contaminated by the heavily toxic chemicals that are used in this process. Some chemicals are even rumoured to be radioactive!
The water is wasted and discharged elsewhere, and life is threatened anywhere around these wells. Even if there was any, salty water of the coal beds would easily mix with the water present (not to mention the chemicals too) and the water would no more be fit for agriculture or domestic purposes. Not to mention the amount of sand needed to build these wells… they might eat up a significant amount of sand from at least a couple of beaches (or maybe more)! And hey, do you know how much water is even needed for all of this?
Read this to know more. This site says that an average of 15 or so gallons of pure water per minute is wasted during extraction.
Horrifying, isn’t it?
A plan to extract methane from the district of Thanjavur, in Tamil Nadu was proposed by some company. Around 2,000 such wells had been planned to be built in and around Thanjavur, it seems. A case was filed against this and went on for long. Fortunately, though, everyone realized the effects caused by this, and the plan was then dropped – the company seems to have lost the case.
If the project had been approved, then Tamil Nadu could have gone to the brink of extinction, and a few states around it would have also suffered the repercussions. Methane is a very clean natural source for fuel, but this is no reason to destroy our environment. After all, nature’s a gift given to us. It has never been ours alone.