Hydraulic Fracturing : A Viable Option For Environmental Sustainability

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Natural gas resources offer an opportunity to access relatively clean fossil fuel that from the outside seems to be a perfectly viable option for environmental sustainability. More specifically, hydraulic fracturing make the extraction of natural gas from shale formations economically feasible for essentially every country that possesses these shale formations. However, these means of acquiring natural gases are not free from environmental risks, especially those related to regional water quality, wastewater discharge into wells, and accidental spills. Aside from the environmental impacts there are also impacts to human health and also a growing concern globally with people of around the world weighing in on the problem.
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All of which share their own unique characteristics and all of which are equally as damaging to the environment.
Although hydraulic fracturing is not done as frequently in Europe as it is in North America a study was conducted by the Department of Energy and Climate Change in order to test hydraulic fracturing’s effects on air quality in its surrounding regions. The result of the study were then submitted to the European Union in 2012 stating that the potential risks of hydraulic fracturing include methane emissions and diesel fumes which are all mainly emitted from the pumps and valves of the drilling machines and are a main contributor to the thickening of the ozone layer. (DECC, 2012) Also the transportation of the water needed for hydraulic fracturing, if done so by big rigs, can be a large cause of emissions and air pollution.
There is a growing concern that hydraulic fracturing could do irreparable damage to the environment when it comes to climate. Natural gas is mostly methane which is arguably one of the most potent greenhouse gases, which when emitted raises concerns about contributing to global warning. Studies have shown that approximately 4–8.1% of the methane from the wells escape into the atmosphere annually and will continue to do so over the lifetime of the well. (Finkel, 2013) These methane emissions are estimated to be more than twice as great as those from conventional gas. Experts on the topic of global
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