Hydraulic Fracturing

Why We Should Not Support It

What exactly is Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking)?

Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.

Marcellus Shale,

is one of the largest shale regions in the United States – it’s estimated to be the second largest natural gas find in the world. Containing over 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, Marcellus Shale stretches across New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Maryland at a depth of 5,000 to 8,000 feet. Until recently, this formation has been deemed too expensive to access, however recent advances in fracking in Pennsylvania and horizontal drilling technology have opened up new areas and possibilities of exploration.

The Few Goods, The Bads, And Even More Bads

The Advantages

  • Fracking allows for the opening of new jobs for the unemployed and people in need of work. The result could be a boost of local and national econonomy.
  • It would also allow the U.S. to be more dependent from foreign oil companies in order for the fuel to heat our homes and generate other necessities.

The Many Disadvantages

  • First, the process of drilling deep into the earth is not as simple as it may sound. Water supplies and aquifers may and have already become contaminated due to the influx of sand, chemicals, toxins, even carcinogens being pushed down as well. The process also requires the necessity to take those vital water sources underground and draining them, only replacing the water, little by little if that. In fact, people living in natural gas drilling zones have even experienced flammable drinking water high in methane coming out of their taps. Is that what we really want people to be drinking? Chemical water that can torch at any second? In addition, the waste water used is again injected into the earth just to stay there or kept in large pools, which impacts our environment, and wildlife, and us even more.

  • Second, as mentioned before, methane is a significant problem. Methane is a greenhouse gas which 23% more toxic than carbon dioxide, which is given off from oil. Methane is a gas which should not be reckoned with. which these companies are doing heavily, and it's also a contributor to the global warming crisis.

  • Third, the waste fracking fluid also effects the soil and atmosphere. As the fluid is kept in open air pits to evaporate, it releases harmful VOC's (volatile organic compounds) into the atmosphere creating contaminated hair, ground level ozone, and acid rain which will land onto our soil and cause many problems.

  • Fourth, fracking has even been linked to causing earthquakes. NBC reports that unusual earthquakes and tremors in states like Oklahoma, Texas, and Ohio have been linked to fracking processes nearby. The exploding force needed to make the fissures to extract the natural gas do not stop there but make their way to the surface in the form of an earthquake. People in places that have never before even felt an earthquake are now feeling the punch. These disturbances not only cause fear in people but also cracks in roads, homes, and foundations.

  • Lastly, it does not benefit us, as a nation. The only people who benefit greatly are the large natural gas companies who can care less about our health but only the cash in their pockets. We might be semi-dependent on the Middle East for oil, but that dictatorship of the large companies is what we are headed for here. High prices will result and probably will be even more expensive than oil. Also, people who's homes are located near these large wells suffer a high cut from their land and property value, something that will not help the already struggling real estate market. As more an more wells arise, so do our problems.

So What Can We Do?

Our nation as well as many others need to invest in clean energy. Solar, wind, and even geothermal energy leaves little to no impact on the environment and is much safer and cheaper to utilize. Towns where these forms of energy are present thrive and profit much more than a town devastated by the harsh effects of fracking.

The whole natural gas retrieval process is anything but natural.