Is Hydraulic Fracturing Environmentally Safe?

1414 Words Sep 6th, 2015 6 Pages
Is Hydraulic Fracturing Environmentally Safe? The United States has become one of the largest producers of natural gas and most of the production is from shale plays. Solar, wind, biomass waste and geothermal and hydroelectric energy have long been recognized as renewable and sustainable energy resources; however, they only comprise 9% of our energy consumption; this is in comparison to the growing production of natural gas which accounts for 40% of industrial and 74% of residential energy consumption in 2012 (Chen et al. 1). With natural gas production on the rise, several studies have been made that raises questions about how safe hydraulic fracturing is to the land, water and air. Hydraulic fracturing (known as “fracking”) is viewed as beneficial to the economic stability, some would say, that the benefits outweigh the environmental risk. Research suggest hydraulic fracturing releases methane gas in the atmosphere and toxin chemicals into the water supplies which contributes to the greenhouse effect and places our natural resources and humans at risk.
What is hydraulic Fracturing? To better understand the damage that hydraulic fracturing does to the earth you need to understand the process. Hydraulic fracturing is a process that uses a high-pressure fluid to create fractures in underground rock formations, thereby facilitating the production of oil and gas from formations that have low permeability. The fluid used in hydraulic fracturing typically consists of water,…
Open Document