The Effects Of Hydraulic Fracturing On The Environment

1622 WordsFeb 4, 20167 Pages
Hydraulic Fracturing is a process which uses water to crack rock formations as a means to extract natural gas or oil. This method is highly debatable as to whether it uses too much water in areas that have fragile water sources as well as whether the process contaminates surrounding water sources. The State of Texas is a hotspot for hydraulic fracturing because of the amount of shale formations which can produce oil and natural gas. Texas is a dry state which often experiences severe droughts. There is debate about if Texas has sufficient water supplies to support hydraulic fracturing. Since hydraulic fracturing is a fairly new process, there needs to be more research to determine the realistic affect it has on the environment. The…show more content…
Does fracking pollute the water of surrounding water systems to unsafe levels for human consumption? These areas will be explored throughout this document. 1 What is Hydraulic Fracturing The United States Geological Survey Energy Resources Program defines hydraulic fracturing as "an oil and gas well development process that typically involves injecting water, sand, and chemicals under high pressure into a bedrock formation via the well" (Hydraulic Fracturing). The process is meant to produce fractures in the rock formations which increases the flow of oil from the bedrock to the wells, where it can then be processed into crude oil (Hydraulic Fracturing). Despite being a fairly new method of extraction, fracking has quickly become one of the top methods in use. 2 Water Conditions in Texas. In June of 2014, 70 percent of Texas was in drought; of that 70 percent, 21 percent was classified as being in a state of extreme or exceptional drought (Everything You Need...). In 2013, the state climatologist said part of the cause of the drought was the climbing temperatures due to climate change (Everything You Need...). The climatologist stated that the average temperature in the State of Texas has increased an average of 2 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1970s (Everything You Need...). Texas has experienced several severe droughts throughout history including the droughts of the 1950s, 1984, and 1996
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