Fracking : The Value And Limitations Of The Hydraulic Fracturing Debate

2038 Words Oct 7th, 2014 9 Pages
Distinguishing Frack from Fiction: The Value and Limitations of the Hydraulic Fracturing Debate in the United States

It has long been known that large amounts of natural gas reside in deep layers of sedimentary rock such as shale. However, this gas could not be extracted until recent years due to previous limitations of technology making it economically unfeasible. This is now possible due to developments in drilling technology that now allow drillers to drill horizontally. Millions of gallons of water and chemicals are then injected at extremely high pressure that fractures the rock surrounding the drill hole, allowing trapped gas to escape. This process is called hydraulic fracturing, but is known colloquially as “fracking.”
In recent years, fracking has caused a spirited debate due to its environmental impacts and public safety concerns. Proponents of fracking argue that as a result of new technology, we are able to release massive amounts of natural gas from shale deposits and therefore we should stop spending massive amounts of money to develop renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy. These supporters also argue that if we want to solve our energy problems, we must turn to private investors rather than government policymakers. On the other hand, those opposed to fracking claim that the huge amounts of water and chemicals involved in fracking pose tremendous risks to water and to public health. They argue that there is a need for stronger regulation of…

More about Fracking : The Value And Limitations Of The Hydraulic Fracturing Debate

Open Document