Hydraulic Fracturing: A Possible Threat To The

2089 words - 9 pages

Hydraulic Fracturing has been a hot debate topic among the energy industry and the environmental protection groups for quite some time. It has only recently started to be a main topic in the preservation of the environment and possible health risks because it was previously excluded from the laws such as the “safe drinking water act” of 1974 (Hines, 2012). Today, however, the process of Hydraulic Fracturing is central in the limelight of the energy industry as people are claiming that it poses a threat to the environment and to peoples’ health. Over the years, studies have supported a safety record of hydraulic fracturing that is nearly flawless and that rebuke the claims by environmentalists that it is a harmful process (Anthony, 2010). While hydraulic fracturing looks potentially hazardous on paper, the boost to the economy and the low environmental footprint it actually has make it a productive and an advantageous way to drill for natural gas.
First, Hydraulic fracturing helps give a boost to an economy because it allows access to untapped regions of wells that hold the fossil fuel, natural gas. Shale locations like the Marcellus Shale and the Fort Worth Basin hold vast quantities of natural gas and without the use of hydraulic fracturing; the natural gas within the basins would go untapped (Arthur, Bohm, & Layne 2008). One such Basin, the Barnett Shale, has been drilled with over 13,000 hydro-fracking wells which is a dramatic increase in activity supplementing the nation’s energy reserves (legal document pg. 19, 2011). For countries such as the United States who are attempting to find a relief to their energy dependence upon other countries, hydraulic fracturing will open up new doors in the domestic energy industry. The new regions that can be accessed using hydro-fracking will cause a surge in the supply of a nation’s natural gas and will help to lay a base for their energy industry to grow upon. In the United States the amount of hydro-fracking that is done increased from twenty-eight percent of total gas production to forty-six percent, and this rise is evident in the large influx of gas to the natural gas reserves of the country (Arthur et al., 2008). The newfound boost to the amount of natural gas a country has will in turn boost the economy of that country now that it has natural gas to sell to others; also helping to defeat that energy dependency.
Second, the increased supply of natural gas from hydraulic fracturing will help create a surplus therefore lowering the cost of natural gas and causing more people to look towards it as a cheaper energy alternative than crude (Legal Document, 2011).
However, on the other end of the scale the cost for a well that is to be drilled with hydraulic fracturing can reach well over one million dollars depending on where a company is to drill at (Legal Document, 2011). For smaller companies which do not have the resources that the super energy corporations have, the cost of a hydraulically...

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