Ethics of Hydraulic Fracturing
December 13, 2011
Large gas companies have been wreaking havoc on Midwestern United States. These companies’ practices of hydraulic fracturing have been very detrimental to the local populace. Hydraulic fracturing has been known to damage the environment through earthquakes and gas spills. In addition, it has been said that these companies have certain law exemptions that only they enjoy. These unsafe practices have contaminated local’s water supplies. There have even been cases where people have been able to light the water from their faucets on fire. Stricter government regulation should be enforced on these gas companies. Hydraulic Fracturing, or fracking, has recently (in the last ten years) been used extensively by gas companies (“The Facts About Fracking”). Fracking involves drilling down below shale formations (over a thousand feet) in the ground and pumping water, sand, and chemicals until the rock fractures. When the rock fractures it releases natural gas that can be collected at very inexpensive cost. The problem is that this can contaminate local water supplies, including lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, and ground water. The documentary Gasland stirred up interest in the American population to the effects of fracking. After being offered one hundred thousand dollars for his land from a gas company, the director Josh Fox traveled around America investigating the effects of fracking on the local rural populace. Josh Fox did an excellent job at exposing the gas industry for what it really is. The film won an Oscar nomination and has been praised by environmentalists nation-wide. One of the environmentally damaging effects of hydraulic fracturing is that it has been known to cause earthquakes. “Reports of minor tremors of no greater than 2.8 on the Richter scale were reported on June 2, 2009 in Cleburne, Texas, the first in the town's 140-year history”...
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