As fracking spreads throughout the United States, there are more and more reported cases of contaminated drinking water and illness among citizens living near fracking sites. Even with these cases, it is still difficult for the public to grasp just how dangerous fracking is to the public and the environment. Fracking is already legal in 17 states, and nearly 85,000 wells have been drilled or permitted in the past 10 years (Finkel 2013.) Not only is the industry extremely stable, but the gas industry is actually trying to expand fracking into new states—including North Carolina.
In today's global economy, energy is one of the most crucial and sought after commodities. Who supplies it and how much they supply determines how much influence they have over other countries as well as the global economy. This is why hydraulic fracturing is currently such an important and controversial topic in the United States. Hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as "fracking" or hydrofracturing, is the process of using pressurized liquids to fracture rocks and release hydrocarbons such as shale gas, which burns more efficiently than coal. This booming process of energy production provides a much needed economic boost, creating jobs and providing gas energy for Americans. The efficiently burning shale gas reduces carbon
In recent years, the subject of hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking has been a constant subject of interest in the news media. The pros and cons of fracking are passionately debated. However, the public should become educated on the subject of fracking prior to choosing a side of the argument. In the scholarly article, “Super Fracking,” published in 2014, by Donald L. Trucotte, Eldridge M. Moores, and John B. Rundle, a detailed description of fracking is provided, followed by their analysis of current issues surrounding the controversy. According to Trucotte, Moores, and Rundle, fracking saves the consumer money. The wellhead cost to produce natural gas in January of 2000 was two dollars and sixty cents per one thousand cubic feet. At an alarming rate, the cost at the wellhead to produce natural gas had risen to eight dollars per one thousand cubic feet by January of 2006. Comfortingly, the wellhead cost dropped to two dollars and eighty-nine cents by the end of 2012. Impressively, gas production increase and price decrease over the time period are a result of fracking. In their article, Trucotte, Moores, and Rundle describe in great detail that hydraulic fracturing, most commonly referred to as fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth to fracture the layers of rock so that a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the oil or natural gas inside. This method of fracking has been used commercially for the last fifty years.
For the past twenty to thirty years, hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking, has been the number one source of natural gas, oil, and energy in the United States. The process of fracking is that a well is built above the ground and then a drill digs several thousand feet deep into the ground to extract the oil and natural gas that is trapped inside of rock formations. Fracking is very controversial because of the cost of the process and the environmental “threats” that it poses. From methane emissions to earthquakes, fracking has been accused to be linked with several environmental issues. To prevent any environmental dangers, states place regulations and boundaries that energy companies have to follow in order to build a well and keep it up and running. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) also works with states to help regulate these wells. More importantly, fracking in the United States is very important and acts as a bridge to the future. While it may be argued that hydraulic fracturing is not beneficial to the economy and harmful to the environment, fracking in the United States should not be banned because fracking is not only imperative to the growth of jobs and the economy, but it also does not put the surrounding environment in danger.
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
The mismanagement of the practice has the potential to create environmental damage such as water contamination, radioactive spills, and increased seismic activity that could cost thousands in dollars in damage. Furthermore, the unintended consequences of fracking can have detrimental effects on the environmental. The potential for water contamination can pose both an immediate and long term risk to environmental stability, including landscape distortion, inhabitability and ecological displacement. This contamination of drinking water can also be detrimental to the human environment, limiting the amount of safe water available for both the residential and commercial human environment. With the increase of fracking, the level of disapproval for the practice has only mounted. Concerns including overconsumption of
Natural gas is the transitional fuel that is cleaner than coal and oil that has been experiencing a boom in the United States for the last few decades. Natural gas is most familiar to us in the form of heating and cooking on gas ranges. It is abundantly available and modern technology has made it much more accessible and cheaper than other energy sources. Hydraulic fracturing, known short as fracking, is the combination of technology with water and chemicals, and high pressure, that breaks through shale rocks to capture energy. The Climate One podcast titled “ Fracking Boom,”explains America’s recent obsession with fracking, surrounding its history, economic stimulus, construction, and community opposition among other issues. Presenting the talk were Russell Gold, author of The Boom: How Fracking Ignited American Energy Revolution and Changed the World, Mark Zoback, professor of Geophysics at Stanford University, and Trevor Houser, co-author of Fueling Up: The Economic Implications of America’s Oil and Gas Boom. The three guest speakers shared their expertise on how the fracking boom can power America’s economy, but can only be successful if the process in making the wells for fracking, are done along guidelines within the regulations.
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.
In 1949 Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Company obtained a patent for hydraulic fracturing, the first one issued in the United States. The method gained popularity and was soon used all over the world ("Hydraulic Fracturing of Oil & Gas Wells Drilled in Shale," n.d.). Despite its early start and popularity, hydraulic fracturing was not used on a large scale until 2003 when energy companies began to explore new ways of oil and gas production in the shale formations of Texas, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wyoming, Utah and Maryland. ("A Brief History of Hydraulic Fracturing," n.d.).
“Fracking ensures that the age of oil-and it 's princely hydrocarbon cousin, the natural gas molecule-will not end because we have run out of fossil fuels. But it may end because burning these wonderful fuels puts the planet farther down a path we don 't want to head down”. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a petroleum mining method to reach remote gas under water that is located in the crust of the earth. Fracking uses a blend of water, sand, and chemicals. Hydraulic Fracturing, “has contributed to a resurgence of oil production in the USA and a dramatic increase in natural gas production” (Hassett). It is speculated to grow and eventually become fifty percent of the natural gas used in our lives today. It is understood that transferring to the use of these natural gasses would be better for the dwindling supply of oil but people are looking over the repercussions of a more common and more frequent fracking. Much of the effects are unknown due to the short past of major fracking in the United States. From the minor, in comparison to the future plans, fracking in places such as Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Texas, Kansas Mississippi, and many others have dozens of incidents. Incidents that range from poisoned drinking water, industrial disasters, explosions, polluted air, and mysterious animal deaths. Fracking is something that if grown can cause disasters of monumental scales. The temporary benefits do not outweigh the costs that people and the
Most companies seem to have little regard for protection of the environment; they focus on maximizing profits, but neglect the adverse environmental effects. Many of the chemicals released by fracking companies are directly linked to harmful substances appearing in drinking water. “Of the 353 [identifiable chemicals used], 80% can damage the skin, eyes, and sensory organs, and 52% can harm the brain and nervous system” (Song 74). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a statement confirming that irresponsible and unregulated fracking contaminates drinking water (Lustgarten 27). Studies also suggest that fracking is related to seismic activity, potentially damaging private property and compromising the wells themselves (Horwitt 37).
There has not been an adequate amount of research into the long-term consequences that fracking will have. As of now the quality of the air in and around fracking sites is not monitored and the impact of the health of nearby residents and workers is unknown. There needs to be legislation put in place to force the fracking companies to provide a list of chemicals being used. Due to the lack of regulation the communities around fracking sites have no way of knowing the exact composition of the chemicals that are in use. If an accident were to happen at one of the fracking sites, emergency responders would be unprepared, there are different ways to deal with different
Although oil companies uphold the idea that fracking is a cheaper and efficient, fracking damages the local water, air and soil in the surrounding cities. According to the Science of Total Environment, scientists speculate that wells require up to 5 million gallons of fluid per extraction event, which would require tons of chemicals including benzene, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides to unconventionally bring out the shale gas (Werner et al. 2014). The lengthy list of air pollutants, most of which are combustible, suggests that both human health and the environment are at risk and the surrounding water aquifers located near the horizontal wells could also be damaged. The amount of water needed for extraction also demonstrates the strain the process of fracking has on the environment and local water supply. Similarly, the potency of methane is 20 times worse than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, which is further aggravated by the process of flaring (Weinhold 2012). Thus, flaring and fracking serves not only as a nuisance to the community through the health hazards and water pollution, but can worsen the status of global climate
Hydraulic fracturing, which is more commonly known as “fracking”, is a term that many people may have heard about, but actually have very little knowledge on. Fracking is a topic that is highly controversial between people who work in the industry, scientists, and environmental professionals. Fracking has been around for a long time, but it’s only been in the past thirty years that it’s really taken off in what is known as the shale gas boom. As our sources of energy dwindle down it becomes important to consider our future and look into new sources of affordable and sustainable energy. People in the fracking industry praise the many benefits of hydraulic fracking, saying that is already being used to offset much of our current energy costs, and many consider it to be the future of all of our energy needs.
Competition from other energy companies makes Shell strive for better and cheaper ways of creating energy. There is a theory which states that competition between different companies helps rather than hinders them. Since Shell has to compete for the energy market, Shell’s scientists work with other institutions such as University of Texas, to develop better methods of extracting energy that is safer and cheaper. Another benefit that has resulted from the growth of the fracking industry is the creation of 1.7 million new jobs in the Unites States. Studies from an economic forecaster, IHS Global Insight, have shown that by 2035 the number should rise to 3.5 million jobs. There is potential for fracking to become the main source of extracting natural gas. In the graph below the green section or shale section shows how many cubic feet of gas is being produced by fracking from 1990 to 2040. However scientists can only estimate that amount of shale gas being produced in the future. We do know that fracking has caused a dramatic boost in the natural gas production in this country. The Energy Information Administration states that the production on natural gas will rise around 44% through 2040 due to fracking.The higher production rate