Benefits Of Fracking

Decent Essays

Hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, is the process of removing oil and natural gas from in between layers of shale and other low-permeability rocks. This is done by drilling both a well and a horizontal tunnel. Sand and chemicals are shot through the tunnel with incredible pressure, which cracks the shale allowing the oil and natural gas to travel up the well (Jackson, 2014). Fracking has caused a breadth of controversy due to the economic benefits and the geological consequences. The most obvious economic benefit of fracking is that it allows the U.S. to collect natural gas and oil from our own land, meaning that we do not have to import as much from other countries (Jackson, 2014). Reducing the amount of natural gas and oil …show more content…

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 …show more content…

Even though I would need to do more research to have a more coherent opinion, I believe that fracking should not be practiced in the United States. My opinion is heavily based on the fact that fracking is still such a new discovery and that safe methods have not been identified. Thus, too many people are at risk for being exposed to contaminated drinking water (Jackson, 2014). The methane contamination of the drinking water is very concerning because it is very flammable, which can be incredibly dangerous to the citizens in the affected area (Hoffman, 2016). Thirdly, the amount of pollutants that are released into the atmosphere is not safe for people to inhale. Both children and adults have been exposed to these pollutants, which have had severely negative effects. Lung disease is just one of the major negative health effects of fracking. Cancer and birth defects in infants are other incredibly disabling diseases that affect people in proximity to these wells (Kiely, 2016). Another issue that I find disturbing about the process of fracking is that the waste water wells are disposing of the chemical waste deep into the Earth’s crust. However, some of this chemical waste is disposed of in landfills, which, in turn, pollutes the groundwater (StateImpact, 2017). Overall, I find the process of fracking

Get Access