Fracking : The Economic And Environmental Effect Of Hydraulic Fracking

1165 WordsMay 7, 20175 Pages
Fracking Fracking, a technique used to extract natural gas and oil from the earth 's subterranean rocks, is by no means a new thing. As the United States strives for energy independence, the number of wells produced by hydraulic fracturing has increased substantially. This method of harvesting natural gas and oil may contribute to pollution and has become a controversial topic. It is important to understand the pros and cons of fracking before drawing conclusions. Analyzing the economic and environmental effects of hydraulic fracking will show that fracking has economic benefits, while its environmental impact is no greater than that of other energy sources. The origins of fracking date back to1862 and the battle of…show more content…
Wells located in Texas and Oklahoma were the first two Halliburton used hydraulic fracking on in 1949. The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) “recounts that 332 wells were fracked in the first year alone, with up to 75 percent production increases recorded” (MacRae, “Fracking: A Look Back”). In the 1990 's the Mitchell Energy & Development Corporation began work on a horizontal fracking technique. In this technique the well is first drilled vertically and then drilled horizontally. “About 90 percent of the wells in operation have been fractured – and the process continues to be applied to boost production in unconventional formations – such as tight gas sands and shale deposits” (Shooters – A “Fracking History”). Hydraulic fracturing like other sources of energy is not without controversy. Although economists and the right wing support fracking for its potential to grow the GDP, environmentalist and the left rally against fracking and its negative impact on the environment. Christopher Skroupa stated, “As consumer and stakeholder, how do we sort out the debate on fracking—it’s risks and opportunities—and how do we insert a “sanity check” into its politics?” (“The Politics of Fracking”). Comparing hydraulic fracturing to wind, solar, nuclear, and coal is an important step in determining it’s value. Oil and natural gas production in the United States continue to increase as fracking
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