The Effects Of Hydraulic Fracking On The United States Essay

1934 Words8 Pages
The purpose of this research is to analyze the impacts, both social and economic of hydraulic fracturing in the United States. This has been a heated issue with environmentalists and surrounding community members concerned over the environmental and health related problems associated with this practice while providing substantial economic benefits.
This research will utilize economic theory for analysis and will include consideration of justified social concerns. Explicit benefits and costs of hydraulic fracking will be examined as well as negative and positive externalities. Both these implicated and explicit costs and benefits will be analyzed to determine if fracking should continue, i.e. are benefits greater than costs, and if so, should there be additional regulation, i.e. to maximize total economic and social profits. Through the use of this economic analysis, this paper aims to answer the following questions: Should hydraulic fracking continue in the United States? If so, is increased regulation justified from either the local, state, or federal government?

I. Background

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a method in which a high pressured water, sand, and chemical mix is injected into a well in order to fracture rock leading to the releases of gas or oil to the surface, see Figure 1 for illustration. Fracking was invented in the 1940s but has only become economical in the past few decades due to advancements in technology. The top fracking regions in the
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