Fracking Is A Safe And Economical Source Of Clean Energy

1146 Words5 Pages
Deb Herb
Dr. Lazardeux
POSC 211
30 November 2015

Fracking According to an article in The New York Times, hydraulic fracturing is best described as the technique used to drill down into the earth using a high pressure water mixture to fracture the rocks and extract the natural gas and oil. Approximately one million wells have been fracked since the 1940’s, most of these are vertical wells that drill into porous sandstone or limestone. New technology has allowed for horizontal drilling to capture gas from shale rock. Water, sand and other chemicals are injected into the rock at a high pressure to create the fractures that release the gas. The chemicals added to the water dissolve minerals, kill bacteria that may plug up the well and
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That being said, like conventional wells, fracking wells need to be monitored and maintained. Well casing failures, improper cementing, well leaks, spills of fluid, as well as improper dumping of wastewater are all examples of mishandling and create a climate of distrust of oil and gas companies. Supporters of fracking claim that responsible operators, with governmental oversight (regulatory policies), make for a perfectly safe drilling environment. Drilling of oil is complicated and challenging, but safe drilling and production practices have been known and used for decades. Environmentally harmful incidents are preventable by following industries best practices.
Opposition to fracking has been considerable, focusing on potential environmental consequences. The fracking mixture contains acids, detergents and poisons that may contaminate groundwater. Methane gas can escape out of the well creating a possible explosion danger, as well as contributing to global warming. Water waste from the well carries radioactive elements and large concentrations of salt, referred to as brine. The brine can be detrimental to the environment if not disposed of properly and in rare cases has been linked to small earthquakes when injected back into the deep wells for disposal.
The single most pronounced criticism of hydraulic fracturing is the claim that it pollutes groundwater, yet there is little or no evidence to prove such a claim. A landmark
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