The use of hydraulic fracking has been around since the 1940’s to extract small batches of natural gas. It was not until 2003 that the fracking process started extracting large quantities of natural gas and oil. Today, there is major controversy over the idea that hydraulic fracturing may or may not be harmful to the earth. One side says it is safe to use hydraulic fracking, others state that it is dangerous to society. Many people believe fracking is harmful to the environment because it pollutes the air and water and can possibly inject harmful chemicals in the earth.
After watching the documentary, there is no doubt that natural gas drilling is destroying our environment. For instance, hydraulic fracturing produces large amounts of wastewater, which may contain dissolved chemicals and other contaminants that require treatment before disposal or reuse (EIA, 2014). Furthermore, the chemicals used in the process can contaminate surrounding areas if they are released by spills, leaks, faulty well construction, or other exposure
It is not a dominant solution for the energy problem. Natural gas installation is expensive mainly the infrastructure installation part and distribution is expensive and this include installation separate plumbing systems and special tanks. It is inefficient when used in transportation as it provides less mileage than gasoline. Regardless of natural gas disadvantages, it provides an energy efficiency that considered the best among fossil fuels that are now available (Conserve Energy Future, 2015). The EPA in the movie appeared not protecting people on a number of issues.
Fracking has actually been taking place since the 1940’s, but not until it was combined with horizontal drilling was it extremely useful (“Hydraulics” 71-75). In the past fifteen years the fracking business has skyrocketed. By 2015 thirty-five thousand wells are using fracking methods in order to extract the natural gases each year. Ninety percent of all gas production in the United States would be impossible without fracking (“Hydraulics” 71-75). More than ninety percent of natural gas wells in the U.S. rely on fracking (Howarth, Ingraffea, and Engelder).
On the other side of the debate are environmental groups, who point to the harm fracking can cause to the environment. Fracking is the process of pumping different liquids into the ground at high pressure to create fractures, cracks, and fissures in the rock so oil or gas can be extracted. The companies involved in the fracking industry are forced to stop extracting gas. This is because there has been a moratorium placed on Hydraulic Fracturing until further notice. A moratorium is a temporary prohibition of an activity.
The main way that oil and natural gas reserves are acquired are through the means of Fracking. Also known as hydrofracking, this method utilizes a drill that drills down thousands of feet underground, which is then flushed with millions of gallons of water along with additive chemicals at high pressures to break the rocks sheltering the reserves. This method of attainment is quite risky as it comes with many unfavorable consequences that are quite unbeneficial. Like fossil fuel plants, fracking also releases greenhouse gasses like methane(Potential Health and Environmental Effects of Hydrofracking in the Williston Basin, Montana), which is worse than carbon dioxide and causes air pollution. Alongside that, pollutants like Benzene and Xylene also leak out during the fracking process, which is known to cause serious health conditions and even death in some cases due to the long exposure to the pollutants(Potential Health and
Therefore, fracking will not continue because of its bad reputation. Fracking companies should also list the chemicals used in fracking fluids so that the contamination in water can be reversed. Linda Dong from dangersoffracking.com clearly explains that the underground water that is contaminated is permanent damage. Without knowing the chemicals in fracking fluids, better alternatives to harmful chemicals cannot be found. However, the fracking fluid that is left underground damages the environment that we live in.
It involves high-pressure injections of water and chemicals into rock formations, which in turn release natural gas (Thompson, “Hydraulic Fracturing Should Be Banned”). However, fracking can result in many negative outcomes. For instance, scientists who conducted the earthquake study for Geology discovered that not only did fracking cause the biggest earthquake in Oklahoma, but it also caused more earthquakes in states that hardly experienced any seismic activity (“Wastewater Injection Spurred Biggest Earthquake Yet, Says Study,” The Earth Institute Columbia University). In fact, quakes have hit so frequently in Oklahoma, that state and oil regulators decided to shut down five disposal wells due to the increasing number of earthquakes in a city named Cushing (“Oil Regulators Shut Down Two Disposal Wells After Earthquakes Near Cushing”, State Impact: NPR). If fracking is capable of causing temblors as powerful as a 5.7-magnitude, it may be capable of inducing other massive earthquakes in the future.
According to Fisher, in 2004 the EPA deemed hydro-fracking effects to be insignificant, but reopened the investigation in 2011 after requests from congress: “internal documents suggest EPA is facing significant pressure from the oil and gas industry to narrow the scope of the study” (Fisher 105). The health effects that fracking has on the communities around the extraction sites should be enough for the government to regulate fracking practices more than they already