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Fracking Needs More Regulations Before It Comes To North Carolina

1040 words - 5 pages

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, was once considered a great way to get clean energy. It was considered much safer for the earth compared to coal mining and had support from big environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club. However, some issues have come up that put into question the actual effects that fracking has on the environment. Besides the noise and air pollution created by the drilling of wells and the truck traffic on the fracking sites, water pollution has become the greatest concern. When done incorrectly, fracking can load the water supply with thousands of dangerous chemicals and make it unsafe for drinking and other uses (Shan). “Even if, today, you completely stopped ...view middle of the document...

Hydraulic fracturing companies moving to the Raleigh, Durham, Chatham and even Greensboro area is now a big possibility. If fracking does start up in North Carolina it could supply the state with natural gas for about forty years, however if regulations for fracking companies to not tighten up then it would mean a disastrous hit on the water supply, air quality, and agriculture (Clean Water Action).
When fracking is done incorrectly, it can lead to serious environmental threats. If wells are ill-constructed then leaks, spills, and runoff into bodies of bodies can occur, contaminating resident’s household water. This also kills important wildlife and crops that are staples and vital to a community's well being; once harm is done it takes decades if not centuries for farmland to be viable and wildlife to return to normal (Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation). Fracking also releases methane, a gas that contributes more to climate change than carbon dioxide when it is let-off into the atmosphere (Natural Resources Defense Council). Methane is also flammable and when it “leaks from fracking pipelines into groundwater, water sources can become saturated with it, making kitchen sink pyrotechnics a real possibility” says Tony Shan from the Duke Chronicle. However issues with methane would be easily and quickly fixed if fracking companies were required to capture the gas (Natural Resources Defense Council) which could then be sold to be used in the manufacturing of other products such as organic chemicals (Wisconsin Department of Health Services).
The negative consequences of fracking can be avoided if stricter regulations were put on fracking companies that made sure that they were being responsible with their waste, keeping their wells structurally sound so that there was no leaking of the oil or water mixture, and capturing all methane produced by the drilling. Miles Timmins quotes in the Duke Chronicle “Such contamination depends on whether pipes do leak and if the companies choose to dump wastewater illegally”, as long as companies are making good, ecologically sound, decisions, contamination will not occur. Miles Timmins also suggests that heavy taxes be put of fracking companies that are found to be breaking regulations. It would...

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