The fossil fuel industry may say that fracking does not cause pollution in our water ways, that it is an urban myth, but hundreds of complaints have been made in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Texas, according to the Associated Press.
The Pennsylvania complaints can include allegations of short-term diminished water flow, as well as pollution from stray gas or other substances. More than 100 cases of pollution were confirmed over the past five years.
Fracking has reduced the United States' dependency on imported fuel and has led to a boom in the industry. But many fear it causes pollution as the extraction method relies on pumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of water into the ground to break free the oil and gas.
The AP reports: "Some people who rely on well water near drilling operations have complained about pollution, but there's been considerable confusion over how widespread such problems are."
Environmental departments in the four states have denied information to journalists, making complaints seem random and unrelated.
Experts and regulators agree that investigating complaints of water-well contamination is particularly difficult, in part because some regions also have natural methane gas pollution or other problems unrelated to drilling.
But other experts say people who are trying to understand the benefits and harms from the drilling boom need comprehensive details about complaints, even if some cases are from natural causes.
If the industry is harmless, surely it should have nothing to hide.