Temporary solution that will only worsen a permanent problem
The problems we don't see.
Many scientists and government officials in favor of fracking for Natural gas will tell you that it's cleaner than coal or oil, there's a lot of it, it's easy to get at, and it won't pollute the water. This is true, for now. The problem comes in the way that, like coal and oil, the natural gasses will inevitably run out. And, although they do not runoff like oil, they still have their fair share of complications that will send environmentalists into an tantrum. The use of these non-renewable resources are even one of the top causes of war throughout the world, as the picture below humorously explains. So what is the main problem? Let's take a look at some of the facts below.
Facts About Fracking
The effects on water:
Most people will tell you that the gasses mined in fracking won't seep into the water, because they're almost always a mile deeper than groundwater. This is true, but while the gasses don't seep into it, the chemicals used to extract the gasses do. Along with water and sand, chemicals are pumped into the ground during fracking to loosen the gasses and allow them to be extracted. Some of these chemicals are relatively harmless, but some, like methanol, are TOXIC! Many aquifers are groundwater supplies have been contaminated by fracking seeps, despite precautions being taken. Because of this, hydraulic fractutring is a gamble and could drastically deteriorate the earth's fresh groundwater supply.
The effects on the atmosphere:
It's no secret that fossil fuel have been damaging to the planet since the industrial revolution; it's practically all we hear about any more. So if we hear about it so often, why do we keep using them? Natural gasses found via fracking might be cleaner than oil or coal, but they contain methane that will seep into the atmosphere if not quickly contained and raise the earth's temperature until we see polar bears living on surfboards. Even if it is collected, it's still used to power simple electronics and it will still contribute to global warming, the only difference being we get a momentary use out of it. So, pick your poison: we can either dig it up, have it escape, and let it warm our planet, or we can dig it up, contain it, use it, and have it warm our planet. I'd rather go with option three: don't use it.
The effects on land
As previously mentioned, chemicals are dumped into the ground at extreme pressures to extract the gasses, which are trapped in rocks known as Marcellus Shale. Marcellus shale is pretty durable, so we dump thousands of gallons of water, sand, and other chemicals into it to crack it from the inside and release the gasses. But, wouldn't there be a reason it's so sturdy? Well, the reason is that if it is broken apart too drastically, the resulting shift can lead to earthquakes. Ask anyone who's survived an earthquake how catastrophic and traumatic it may have been, and then ask them how they feel about people deliberately using a fuel extracting method that is likely to cause more. Even if we can find a way to lower the frequency of these earthquakes, fracking wells still need to be build, which involves digging up the land and placing pipes several thousand feet underground to even attempt to extract it. And, as mentioned in all 3 of the previous topics, one miscalculation will lead to pollution and damage to the earth itself.
Possible political effects
We live in a world where I think everyone is aware that wars have began over fossil fuels. Whether right or wrong, we have become a species so obsessed with miscellaneous goods that we're willing to kill for it. As shown by the map below, we have a numerous amount of fracking locations in the US. Maybe we should better consider how we quickly we deplete these supplies. Perhaps instead of utilizing all of the fuels we have now, running out, and having to invade another nation for more, why not try to find a cleaner energy method that doesn't require the deaths of hundreds of thousands? We can still utilize our already present natural gas supplies hidden in Marcellus Shale, and at a rate slowly enough that we will not run out, nor will we have to battle for more. If we find an effective source, we can even encourage other nations to take our approach and prevent them from using their natural gas supplies. Who knows, this might be the first step on the staircase to world peace. We might never know until we try.
Bottom line: it's outdated
As the decades roll by, we are progressively running out of the fuels made from organisms buried millions of years ago. Many of these organisms take so long to decay into these fuels, they are millions of years older than the human race itself. We really can't just hope that more are going to magically show up once we run out of what we already have. In this new age, we have the technology to generate at least some energy from the renewable resources around us, primarily solar, as it is virtually infinitely abundant. Nuclear power has potential as well, assuming many of the risks are well regulated. Although wind and geothermal energy are more difficult to generate, they are still perfectly abundant and pose virtually no risk to the environment around us. With so many options at our disposal, why do we continually use resources that we know will only fail us in the end? With all the oil spills, deaths while mining coal, and temperature increases from all fossil fuels, even natural gasses, why do we make the earth worse by refusing to change our ways? You know what they say: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. I don't know about you, but I'd rather we get some different results.