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Shale Gas And Its Effects On Human Health Essay

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Due to innovations in technologies and techniques involved with shale gas extraction, shale gas production in the United States, as well its natural gas production as a whole, as increased tremendously over the past several decades. As the abundance of domestic energy continues to grow, American consumers have observed declines in gas prices across the nation. However, cheap gas comes with a price: the negative impacts that cheap oil prices and shale gas extraction have on the U.S.’s environment, economics, and political relations raises questions as to whether America’s shale gas revolution is entirely beneficial. Although shale gas offers the potential for abundant and cheap energy and reduced reliance on foreign energy, the harmful impacts on human health and the environment caused by shale gas extraction as well as the negative effects of cheap oil prices on foreign and national economies and the geopolitical imbalances caused by the shift in energy dominance outweigh the benefits of shale oil. The process of extracting shale gas today involves two methods: horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Horizontal drilling enables the well to conform to the formation and extract gas from thousands of meters below the entrance of the well. Because the shale rock formation is typically flat and approximately 90 meters thick, this method of drilling maximizes the area of rock that is in contact with the wellbore – in comparison to vertical wells, horizontal wells reduce
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