The Controversial Technique Of Hydraulic Fracturing

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Texas was primarily an agricultural state until the discovery of the first commercially viable oil well in 1894. Since then, Texas has seen a massive boom in oil production and a sudden shift from an agricultural economy to one more dependent on oil. However, the insatiable hunger of oil eventually consumed most available shallow sources of oil. Only then did natural gas and its variants become a viable option, and with it the controversial technique of Hydraulic Fracturing.
Hydraulic Fracturing, or Fracking, as it is commonly known, is a process that requires three main components: a natural gas deposit, drilling and fracking fluid. The operation begins with companies surveying lands to discover an untapped source. Once one is found,
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Moreover, certain financial and regulatory guidelines must be followed in order to comply with the acts policies (Gallegos, 2015). Per the act, fracking fluids fall well into the category of the act as fracking fluids contain trace, albeit, plentiful amounts of toxic chemicals that are deemed hazardous. Despite this classification, fracking fluid continues to be exempt from the act.
The second policy is the Safe Drinking Water Act which details how underground aquifers are to be protected from contamination associated with the injection of liquid wastes into underground wells (Gallegos, 2015). The injection of fracking fluid into shale deposits should undoubtedly fall within the definition of an underground injection well; nevertheless, the 2005 Energy Policy Act specifically exempts hydraulic fracturing activities.
Finally, fracking is exempt from certain provisions in the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act. The act requires that heavy industries submit an annual report detailing their use of toxic chemicals to the EPA (Gallegos, 2015). Fracking is exempted from this act as operations would be required to account for their toxic chemical use from purchase to disposal.
In the face of growing concerns, the government did attempt to address citizens’ concerns by proposing the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act which would repeal the Safe Drinking Water Act and require that all chemical constituents of fracking fluids

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