Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layers deep within the earth.The dangers of fracking are the chemicals that go into fracking and how much water is used and contamination of city water. Some dangers of fracking are water usage. They use 2 to 5 million gallons of water. Not all of the chemicals are recovered from the ground. We only know of 8 out of 600 chemicals. To many chemicals are used and some a harmful. Fracking water usage is too high for instance one well can use 144,000,000million gallons of water. 50%-70% of the fracking fluid is left in the ground and isn’t biodegradable. The waste fluid that is outside in the sunlight evaporates and releases volatile organic compounds(Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary room temperature. Their high vapor pressure results from a low boiling point, which causes large numbers of molecules to evaporate or sublimate from the liquid or solid form of the compound and enter the surrounding air.) Due to the VOCs acid rain, ground level ozone and contaminated air. Ground level ozone is bad, but ozone up high in the atmosphere protects the earth from the Sun’s harmful rays.
Oil and natural gas companies have developed a way to drill for natural gas, a process called hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. Natural gas is a flammable gas mixture consisting of methane and several other hydrocarbons that occur naturally underground. Natural gas is used as fuel for heating, cooking, and even in some automobiles like the “RideOn” buses. This technique has only recently become economically feasible with the rising prices of fossil fuels, and there is much potential for recovering natural gas through fracking. However, fracking has many waste products and unusual side effects caused by the unnatural forces and materials used. Fracking has a detrimental effect on the surrounding environment through
Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing, a type of drilling used by oil companies to tap the valuable oil veins located miles below the earth’s surface. Fracking has been the subject of discussion for some time now, not necessarily for its effectiveness, but for its effect on the environment. Fracking has been known to release methane gas into the atmosphere; methane gas is a greenhouse gas and along with gasses like CO2 is one of the gasses that contributes to the warming of the planet. In Louis W. Allstadt’s article “Fracking Contributes to Global Warming” he states that, “methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas in the short term-less
“Fracking” isn’t a word that most people are familiar with unless they are well informed or active in local government or natural gas extraction. “Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves extracting natural gas from shale formations underground” (Collier, Galatas, Harrelson-Stephens, 2008). During the process known as fracking, millions of gallons of water are shot underground into shale formations to help bring the natural gas trapped inside the formations to be released so that it can surface and become available for extraction. This is the technique that is used for traditional fracking methods. Although fracking increases the states natural gas production, it also carries some negative side effects that are affecting the state and its people.
The most dangerous consequence of fracking is that hundreds of chemicals are blasted into the Earth’s crust, which creates cracks in the bedrock. Many times, these cracks lead to an aquifer, in which case, all of the water in the aquifer becomes contaminated with these chemicals (Jackson, 2014). Additionally, when the natural gas is being pumped out of the wells, methane is released into the atmosphere. A study conducted by NOAA found that approximately 4% of the methane is being released into the atmosphere. This same study found that methane pollution increases climate changes because it traps heat in the atmosphere 25 times more than carbon dioxide (Hoffman, 2016). Furthermore, fracking waste wells are the primary cause of the increase of earthquakes in the Central U.S. This is because these wells operate for a longer period of time, which means that they inject more “solid ‘cake’” into the Earth than the actual fracking process (USGS, n.d. and StateImpact, 2017). Finally, recent studies have found that people who live near a fracking site are at higher risk to develop respiratory problems, which is due to the increased levels of pollutants. These pollutants are not only affecting the people who live in close proximity to these sites, but to the workers, as well. The most common type of respiratory problem reported was lung
Not only is breathing in the methane fumes a risk to health, but also methane is flammable. In Wyoming, a leaking methane gas well burst into flames, swaying the views of several individuals (Lavelle 109). Since this well not only leaked methane but also natural gas, this fire quickly expanded and burned a large flame. This fire lasted for months until the firefighters were finally able to put it out. Copious amounts of individuals became forced to evacuate and eventually, their homes would be engulfed in the flames. Another fire broke out, but this time it was located in a home. A family in Colorado, who lived near a fracking well were enjoying supper (Lavelle 109). Shortly after supper concluded the mother turned on the sink to wash
The PR firms expound the virtues of natural gas and would have us to believe “the negative side-effects caused by fracking are insignificant” (Larson 2). They rattle off information on how natural gas is a clean burning source of energy and how it is now responsible for 30% of electricity production, as well as heating in half of the homes in U.S.; therefore lessening our dependency on foreign suppliers. All positives attributes, granted, but at the end of the day fracking is a business; big business whose primary focus is keeping their shareholders happy with increase revenue. Unfortunately in their quest to make the almighty dollar, they are putting human lives as well as the environment at risk with the use of chemicals that are toxic, some are known carcinogens. To add insult to injury, the government, who is supposed to protect the interests of all, as opposed to the interests of a few, granted the energy companies an exemption from the laws meant to provide protection to humans as well as two irreplaceable resources, water and air. Granting this exemption is a clear indication that public health and the preservation of local ecology were less of a priority than making a profit.
The implementation of fracking has had a dramatic economic impact on the United States. The use of fracking in the last decade has increased the production of natural gas from shale formations by 10 times. (Issues) This has resulted in the United States moving more toward natural gas and away from coal to fulfill its energy power needs. In fact, one of the largest production growth areas of
Hydraulic fracking in the United States is a current environmental hazard that has to be addressed by the American people and by the federal government. Fracking in America has opened up millions of acres of lands that were once not economically viable to produce oil and gas. While the Bureau of land Management has paved the way for hydraulic fracturing on public lands, there is a need for retaliation. Fracking is a dirty method of extracting gases and oils at the price of numerous environmental, safety, and health hazards. The environment is not a means of income when rather it is the capital for future generations.
Hydraulic fracturing began in 1947 and still happening until now. People have used fracking to produce more than one million oil and natural gas wells since 1947. Currently "fracking accounts for 50% of locally produced natural gas and 33% of local petroleum” (Engelder 274). It proved that fracking is valuable because people can get too much natural gas and petroleum from fracking. There are 2.5 million "frac jobs" that had been performed on oil and gas wells around the world and more than one million of those are in the United Stated. Oil shale resources are abundant in United States, such as in
When making the huge wells used to obtain natural gas, results show that five percent of the wells start leaking gas immediately. Studies show fracking “releases a cocktail of chemicals from a menu of more than 600 toxic substances, climate-changing methane, radium, and, of course, uranium” (Lennon 535). These multiple gases can cause serious health issues including asthma and even cancer. It is a widely-known fact that smoking can and does cause lung cancer. So, when one says it is okay to frack in various places, that is equivalent to one saying, “Smoking lighter cigarettes in the right place at the right time makes it safe to smoke” (Lennon 535). If one is inhaling various gases that are more dangerous than smoking, that shows how dangerous fracking is, and how harmful it is not only to the earth, but to many people’s health. If workers continue using hydraulic fracturing to retrieve gas like they are now, the effects will only worsen. There are ways to improve the dangerous effects of fracking today, and in the future. Various people have been able to figure out the mystery of how the dangerous fracking gases are able to escape to the air. The EPA has found dispersed occurrences where the cement, that is supposed to secure the gases from escaping, has many cracks in it (USA Today Editorial Board 546). With care of fracking comes great results such as: water not being contaminated,
The crisis for obtaining fossil fuels such as oil and natural gases is at an all-time high. With the limited amounts and struggles of obtaining these needed natural resources for everyday use we find ourselves trying new technological advancements to extract these fossil fuels out of the ground. One way of doing so is through the use of fracking. Fracking is the extraction of natural gasses from shell rock deep beneath the earth’s surface. With the new scientific technological advancements of fracking we can obtain natural gasses in ways that were once un-thought of before. In many ways fracking is beneficial, fracking can provide vast amounts of natural gasses which can be used not only in our everyday lives, but can also be beneficial from an economic stand point as well. However, along with the benefits of fracking there also comes some drawbacks. The use of fracking can contaminate our water sources, and can also cause very large amounts of pollution, causing diseases and death. To get a clearer understanding of what fracking can do we must first learn how fracking works, its benefits for our economy, but also its drawbacks on the environment, and draw a conclusion on whether or not fracking is overall more beneficial or harmful.
With the increase in fracking activity more, and more studies now document emissions of airborne pollutants at and near fracking sites that are known to cause cancer, and harm the nervous, respiratory, and immune systems. At the same time, people, and communities in areas with many hydraulically fractured wells report health problems consistent with these types of exposures.While it is difficult to measure actual exposures to pollutants from nearby fracking operations, and establish clear links to adverse health outcomes, some studies found associations between air pollutants that are present at gas production sites, and health impacts observed in nearby communities.” ”Gas production process releases nitrogen oxides and VOCs, which react in the presence of sunlight to form ozone (‘smog’). Exposure to ozone is associated with a variety of respiratory, and cardiovascular effects, including shortness of breath, reduced lung function, aggravated asthma, and chronic respiratory disease symptoms, inflammatory processes, and premature death.A growing number of studies have attributed emissions of ozone precursors from rapidly growing gas development to significantly elevated ozone concentrations in Wyoming,Colorado,Utah,Pennsylvania,Texas, and Oklahoma.In the study on Wyoming’s Sublette County, tight gas production activities caused winter ozone levels 46 to spike above the EPA’s 8-hour ozone standard of 75 parts per billion 13 times between February 14, and
Hydraulic fracturing has numerous negative effects on Oklahoma. A nearly unavoidable byproduct of fracking that cannot be ignored is the pollution that stems from it. During the fracking process, a portion of the methane produced, which is shown to trap heat twenty-five times more effectively than carbon dioxide, another common greenhouse gas, escapes into the atmosphere as it is brought to the surface (Hoffman). Studies conducted in Weld County, Colorado, which has a comparable number of fracking wells to many places in Oklahoma; show that this loose methane is the equivalent of the carbon emissions of nearly three million cars (Hoffman). Furthermore, fracking has been shown to release large amounts of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide into the air, which are two of the main components of smog (Hoffman). Even in places such as
This paper will explore several articles discussing the process of Hydrolic Fracturing or better known as Fracking. The research conducted by each author is similar in interpretation regarding the impacts involved in this process on our health and environment. Finkel and Hays (2016) stated, “The available science raises substantial questions about the potential for harm to health”. Fracking is the process of collecting natural gas from deep within the earth by using water, sand, and other chemicals. The process of digging allows accumulation of natural gasses by pushing deeper into the earth and lowering the carbon dioxide emissions than that of gas and oil. However, construction and maintenance of the wells, and reaching cavernous depths is