What's the Fracking Problem?
W hy does everyone care so much about natural gas? Why is it such an essential part of modern culture? Sure, it's an exciting and up and coming technology, which is fuel for the technological generation that we've grown up in, but we need to take a closer look to see the methods and impacts that could affect generations after us.
Water is one of our important resources that were given to us by mother nature. We see water as a source for survival and many more advantages. It's fragile, and the smallest amount of contaminants could ruin it for a population, yet one of the major ingredients in fracking processes is the water. Reports of accidents involving water contamination are everywhere. The basic process of fracking is its uses of incredible amounts of gallons of water per drill and drilling so close to groundwater sources risk contamination. "Accidents have already been documented and citizen's well waters have been tainted with toxic chemicals", according to the Climate Progress. (Foster) Many of the chemicals used in the fracking process are proven toxins. These include benzene, ethyl-benzene, toluene, xylene, naphthalene, and other hazardous chemicals that are harmful if any contact is made.
For these reasons, fracking in the United States should be halted. All around the United States, there are areas where the drilling takes place. Everywhere, people were told that there is nothing to worry about and that hydraulic fracturing was safe. Those people were being lied to. People in their homes were reporting health issues. Everything leads up to the water, and not the water that was once safe, but the water they came to know after the drilling of the wells. Environmental laws have been violated time after time. What is most outrageous is that families in their homes aren't able to shower or use the water at all because they were fearful of their health. There are even reports of rashes on the skin and many other health problems.
Fracking has risks of contaminating not only the water, but every resource and every creature on every level of the ecosystem. (1) There are human casualties. People have died from this, whether becoming extremely sick from water contamination or suffering extreme burns or death from plant explosions. There are documented incidents of marine life being killed due to water contamination and pipe spills. Land that could otherwise be used for agriculture and farming are being leased and drilled, used to store toxic chemical waste water: the land that was once green and lush is now mechanical and full of steel and robot-like equipment.
Regardless of whatever the economic or political benefits may potentially be, it is the environmental and health issues surrounding the practice of hydraulic fracking that has drawn protests from activists and some communities. Even critics of shale gas have also raised concerns about leakage of the greenhouse gas methane and other hydrocarbon gases and liquids. Federal government estimates affirmed that more than one million tons of methane were emitted annually from shale gas production. A University of Texas-Austin study found that methane emissions from new wells being prepared for production captured 99% of the escaping methane-on average 97% lower than estimates released in 2011 by the Environmental Protection Agency. It is the most comprehensive shale gas emissions study ever undertaken on methane leakage, covering 190 well pads around the United States. (Entine,1)
If methane is released directly into the atmosphere it can cause greater climate change than carbon dioxide. The myth on how natural gas is a better source of energy is not true. By this point there is that question in your head: if hydraulic fracturing is so bad, then why hasn't it been stopped? There are many answers to that question; one is because it has been said that hydraulic fracturing provides people with jobs, and our economy will be better....
Cited: Cooley, Heather, and Kristina Donnelly. " Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Resources: Separating the Frack from the Fiction" . Oakland: n.p., 2012. Print.
Entine, Jon. "University Of Texas-Environmental Defense Fund Shale Gas Study Unmasks Politics of Anti-Fracking..." Forbes . Forbes Magazine, 18 Sept. 2013.
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Foster, Joanna M. "More Than Flaming Water: New Report Tracks Health Impacts of Fracking on Pennsylvania Residents ' Health."Think Progress RSS. N.p., n.d.
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"Frack Fluid Spill Contaminates Stream, Killing Fish." MNN . Propublica, 22 Sept. 2009.
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Walsh, Bryan. "Science & Space." Science Space Contaminated EPA Says Fracking Likely Polluted Groundwater Comments . N.p., 09 Dec. 2011.
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