Fracking: Natural Gas and Environmental Protection Agency

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Essay #2-Is Fracking Beneficial To Society

Jordan Pasta
GNED 1203-003
November 30th, 2012

Is Fracking Is Beneficial To Society
The subject that I found most interesting during the course was our discussion on Fracking. Is it ultimately beneficial to the society we live in or has it destroyed our natural environment. These are the questions that need to be answered. I will try to determine some of the aspects that might make it potentially dangerous and yet potentially highly economical and beneficial to North Americas vast resource system. What is fracking? Well; it gets its name from “Hydraulic Fracturing,” and this is the process by which fossil fuels, usually natural gas or petroleum, are extracted from the earth. During this process, drilling from a well into hard shale rock takes place, and then that rock is cracked. This cracking releases the fossil fuels inside the shale rocks. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the cracked rocks at high pressure. Ultimately the injection forces the gas or oil to flow out of the well(CNN 2012). The whole process of just developing a well typically takes between 3-5 months but this investment could eventually produce natural gas or oil for the 20-40 years(Marathon Oil 2012) . Close to 87% of worldwide fracking is done in North America although the government does restrict were fracking can be done (CNN 2012). As with so many things in life, there are arguments for and against the growth of the industry in North America. On one side are those who believe that fracking produces numerous benefits which more than outweigh any potential drawbacks. Aubrey McClendon of Chesapeake Energy states “Natural Gas is such a huge game changer and that by using natural gas America can establish independence from OPEC, it could get Americans back to work by creating jobs, it can lower our carbon emissions and it can improve the economy by not exporting over a billion dollar of oil a day to overseas countries”(60 Minutes...
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