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Old Story, New Threat: Fracking and the global land grab

Fracking is increasingly portrayed as a not-to-be-missed innovative opportunity to achieve national energy security. But the ‘fracking revolution’ represents a profoundly harmful new step in the old story of the corporate takeover of natural resources.
Linking the current boom of unconventional gas extraction within the broader pattern of land and water grabbing, this report explores where fracking is happening today, who is promoting it, how, and the state of resistance.

The key highlights of this briefing are:

  1. Fracking involves a relatively new form of the capturing of control over land and water resources involving large-scale capital and enforcing an extractive resource-depleting model of development.
  2. This relatively new form of gas extraction is unfolding across all the continents, placing significant areas of land and especially vast amounts of water under threat.
  3. This capture of control via fracking is realised across a variegated web of actors, coalitions of interests and institutional settings.
  4. The large-scale capital at work in the fracking boom is often associated with global capital already operating in natural resource grabs elsewhere and with high-level financial flows.
  5. The process of fracking for extracting unconventional gas shows new levels of ecological recklessness, especially in terms of water contamination.
  6. Peoples’ resistance is emerging as the threat grows.

Timothé Feodoroff, Jennifer Franco, and Ana Maria Rey Martinez
Old Story, New Threat: Fracking and the global land grab
Transnational Institute (TNI), Oct. 11, 2013

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