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Fracking: Causing More Harm Than Good

1539 words - 6 pages

If the question: “what hydraulic fracturing or fracking is?” was asked to the average person, depending on their location their answer could vary. Most likely though most or many people would not know what Fracking truly is but most would say that they have heard at least a little about it from the news. Hydraulic fracturing also known as fracking is a process that occurs after well has been drilled or bored, and the process through use of a perforated casing that injects fracking fluid which travels through the holes and to target zones and soon when the target zones can’t absorb the fluid and pressure is created causing natural gas or oil to flow up to the surface (Hydraulic Fracturing 101). “Hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) stimulates wells drilled into these formations, making profitable otherwise prohibitively expensive extraction; geological formations may contain large quantities of oil or gas” (Hydraulic Fracturing 101). Hydraulic fracturing though profitable is impacting the environment in negative ways but the U.S. government and fuel companies choose to deny that it is. It uses massive amounts of water, causes water pollution, and if we become dependent on its economic gains we could end up like countries such as Saudi Arabia.
Hydraulic fracturing as stated before uses fracking fluid. An info graphic on “Average Fluid Composition for US Shale Plays” shows that 99.2% of the fluid is water and the other .79% are chemicals (Chemical Use in Hydraulic Fracturing).The other chemicals are Acid, Corrosion Inhibitor, friction reducer, Clay Control, cross linker, Scale Inhibitor, Breaker, Iron Control, Biocide, and Gellant.Now even though these chemicals are less than 1% of the fluid mixture they are still very harsh and toxic chemicals. The mixture being 99.2% water means that a lot of water is used. “In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that 70 to 140 billion gallons of water are used to fracture 35,000 wells in the United States each year” (Hydraulic Fracturing 101).To put it into perspective it is enough water to supply 40-80 cities with 50 thousand people each for a whole year (Hydraulic Fracturing 101).That is a lot of water and the water has to be trucked to the sites which causes pollution. “Fracture treatments in coalbed methane wells use from 50,000 to 350,000 gallons of water per well, while deeper horizontal shale wells can use anywhere from 2 to 10 million gallons of water to fracture a single well” (Hydraulic Fracturing 101).1 million gallons of water takes about 200 truck trips (Hydraulic Fracturing 101).
One of the reasons these companies and industries are allowed to use all this water, add chemicals to it, and inject them into the ground in which they go down to drinking water supplies such as aquifers is due to The Halliburton Loophole.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") does not regulate the injection of fracturing fluids under the Safe Drinking Water Act” (The Halliburton Loophole)....

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