Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is the process of removing once unattainable natural gas from shale formation deep underground. The fracking process was developed by Halliburton in the 1940s as a technique to stimulate gas well production. Vertical holes are drilled deep into the subsurface of the ground, and horizontal extensions are drilled at the bottom of the well at an average depth of 8000 feet. Once the holes are drilled, water is mixed with chemicals and sand then pumped at high pressures into the wells. This process requires 2 to 9 million gallons of water. The high pressures cause the water to break open underground sedimentary rock to free the natural gas trapped inside (Fracking). There is a lot of excitement and disagreement surrounding this issue. Fracking creates many new jobs, helps with dependence of foreign energy, and is a source of cheap fuel. However, there are also some environmental concerns such as ground and air pollution. Most of these problems can be overcome by improved regulation and superior engineered wells. Because our country is in dire need of jobs and energy independence, the economic benefits of fracking outweigh the environmental anxieties. There are many economic benefits to be gained from fracking. For example, fracking creates many new jobs in direct ways by hiring drillers, truckers, welders, geologists, and refinery workers. In turn, these workers spend money in the community and help stimulate the economy. In the article “Energy Independence and its Enemies”, author Abby Wise Schatcher states, “Perhaps most striking is the way the fracking revolution offers hope for employment in areas of the country that had seemed like terminal cases in the era of globalization and the post-industrial economy … In North Dakota, the unemployment rate has fallen to 3 percent” (Schacter). With all these new jobs, the states get much needed tax revenue. This influx of cash is helping...
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