“In addition to carbon pollution, fracking exploits massive amounts of methane pollution, which drive global climate change. Methane warms the climate approximately 80 times more than the equivalent of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.” This is a big problem which needs to
One of the strongest arguments in favour of fracking is the reduction in CO2 that would occur with increased fracking. As of 2013, coal provided approximately 40% of the world’s electricity needs and provides 29% of the total world energy supply with oil being the largest at 31%. Coal-fired power plants are responsible for over 83% of the CO2 pollution since 1990, and have the highest ratio of CO2 output per unit of electricity out of all the fossil fuels. These emissions cause effects worldwide; acid rain, air pollution, toxic waste, to name a few. It is estimated that by replacing coal with gas from fracking, CO2 emissions would be reduced by more than 50%. This massive reduction in carbon emissions would have a global impact, resulting in unprecedented reductions in the effects of climate change. Allowing fracking is a fundamental advance in the efforts to reduce global warming; with this in mind fracking should be allowed and in this case it would benefit everyone when considering the reduction in CO2 emissions. However this poses an issue, if fracking was widely used then CO2 emissions may decrease but there would then be a halt in research and implementation of renewable energy. In some areas where fracking has become more prominent the price for the fuel has fallen; making it a cheaper alternative to expensive renewable energy. Fatih Birol, chief economist for the IEA, aired this concern, ‘Renewable energy may being the victim of cheap gas prices if governments do not
4. Lustgarten, A., Howarth, R., Ingraffea, A., Di Campo, P., Sweatman, R., & Siegel, D. (2012). Fracking: A Key to Energy Independence? World Energy Monitor, 3(2), 1-16. Retrieved September 30, 2014, from https://www.wef21.org/pdfs/wem_2012_02.pdf
‘So companies drill down, often a mile or more. They drill sideways through a shale layer that might be only a hundred or a couple hundred feet thick. And once they’ve drilled out sideways a mile or two, then they’ll pump water, sand, and chemicals underground at very high pressure to crack the rock and free the gas’ . Fracking fluid is mostly water, and each fracking job takes 2 to 4 million gallons of water per well. Once pumped underground, several million gallons flow back to the surface as wastewater. Massive water withdrawals from rivers and streams occur to achieve this process, thus resulting in a major ecological impact; ‘stream/river stress’. Another ecological hazard is habitat fragmentation stemming from the siting of oil well pads, pipelines and supporting infrastructure. Aside these toxic emissions to air, water and soil also affect the ecological domain. Potent greenhouse gas such as methane and particulate matter from compressors and flaring5 pose potential damage to the quality of air inhaled by the residents and community in
the desire to achieve independence from foreign energy sources” (Ben Harris). “The environmental safety of fracking has yet to be conclusively demonstrated, they say, and the industry has a poor track record”(Ben
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
should be taken into consideration. As a result of fracking, the environment is being affected
To environmental advocates and opponents of fracking, the process is more than dollars and cents. On a rudimentary level, the oil and natural gas produced via hydraulic fracturing are fossil fuels, and thus harmful to the environment in comparison to renewable, clean sources of energy such as solar and wind power. These renewable energy fields are likewise capable of bolstering American energy production and independence and creating high paying careers. Moreover, research suggests that fracking practices could cause serious methane leaks, canceling out the supposed reduction in greenhouse gas
Fracking is a process in which a drill is inserted into a shale, which is a cracked surface,
If the practice of fracking continues without the necessary regulation and management to construct the infrastructure required for extraction, transportation and consumerization, the practice has the potential to generate serious problems.
Fracking is a technique designed to get gas and oil out of shale rock in the earth. Natural gas has been used for light and heat for more than 100 years, natural gas is considered one of the cleanest fossil fuel but since it is a fossil fuel it is also a finite resource. Natural gas industry developed a new drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing also known as fracking . fracking is a means of extracting natural gases from shale. Tons of chemicals some toxic are mixed with large amounts of water and sand and pumped up to 8,000 feet under ground. The pressure fractures the shale and allows the gas to freely move.
Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is not an environmentally sound method of acquiring cleaner, cheaper energy. Fracking is a practice that is being used in order to collect natural gas from deep within the earth’s layers of shale rock. Fracking is the process in which water, sand, and chemicals are forced with immense pressure, approximately ten to fifteen thousand pounds per square inch, into the shale rock through a drilled out shaft. This pressure causes the natural gas to be released from the shale rock.
“Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.” (Megan Caponetto and Tom Schierlitz, BBC UK, What is fracking and why is it controversial?, 12/16/15). I went with this BBC quote because it’s challenging to find a proper definition without bias. From what I’ve seen and heard, to frack they drive multiple tanker trucks into the area filled with a mixture of water and
America has one of the highest energy consumption rates in the world. This demand has led to the popularization of the hydraulic fracturing industry. First introduced in the 1940s, hydraulic fracturing is method by which a well is drilled one to two miles below the Earth’s surface. The well then injects water and chemicals in the Earth that create fractures through which gas can flow through. Hydraulic fracturing, which is also known as fracking, became popular because of horizontal drilling in fracking is more efficient at extracting gas. As a result, a fracking boom ensued in which over a million wells were drilled in the United States in the past decade. However,
Protagonists concur that the process of fracking is commonly short-lived, and after it is completed, oil and gas production have the ability to last up to 40 years. Once the process is completed, the site on which hydraulic fracturing is conducted on is restored and refurbished to its former state, and its environmental advantages, such as lowering greenhouse gas emissions and condensing air, persist for decades (“What Is Shale Gas?” 2). Shale gas, which is a natural gas extracted from shale, is obtained through fracking as well (“What Is Shale Gas?” 1). The EIA reports that over 750 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas and 24 billion barrels of technically recoverable shale oil resources in discovered shale plays (“What Is Shale Gas?” 1). The key to developing these key resources, which fuel our economy and provide employment opportunity, is through fracking. When skeptical citizens and authority express concern over fracking, protagonists assure their challengers that fracking will always be done responsibly, and they will continue to develop