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Hydraulic Fracturing Must Be Reformed Essay

1884 words - 8 pages

The multi-billion dollar gas industry is seeking to expand its production across the nation, in light of new technology making extracting natural gas much easier. A Healthy alternative to the fossil fuels we so frivolously use is now more critical than ever. In 2011, the United States used 18.83 million barrels of raw oil daily, and in 2010 19.18 million barrels of petroleum products and biofuels. In 2010 and 2011, that was nearly 22% of the world’s oil supply. (U.S Department of Energy)
Previously inaccessible areas in the Marcellus Shale region of the United States, stretching from West Virginia to New York, are being unearthed by a controversial method of extracting natural gas, called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. A Healthy alternative to the fossil fuels we so frivolously use is now more critical than ever. With an overwhelming amount of negative effects on the population and the environment, hydraulic-fracturing releases dangerous chemicals into unwanted areas, endangering many ecosystems, and harming many social institutions. Fracking is the process in which high-pressured fluids are injected up to 1,000 feet below the earths crust, combining water, chemical additives, and a propping agent that is usually seen as ceramic beads, or some other material that is unable to be compressed. (Veil 2010)

The United States is in the midst of and energy boom unlike anything seen in the past two decades. Domestic energy is now supplying the nations overall usage. However, the yield we are now receiving mainly from fracking is leaving

Exponential negative effects on many social institutions that are now widely effecting the population, and can only increase in the near future. In 2012, Michelle Bamberger of Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine published the first peer-reviewed analysis reporting on the link of food cattle illness with near by fracking wells. Her report used 24 case studies of shale-gas regions in six states whose livestock have experienced a wide range of neurological, reproductive, and gastrointestinal problems after exposure to chemicals from fracking through water or air, accidentally or incidentally. (Bamberger, 194) The livestock death toll is small when examined next to the nations livestock in a whole, but the study shows that this may be a harbinger for the nations live food supply. In northern Pennsylvania, a livestock population was examined where fracking wastewater was exposed to 140 cattle, around 70 cows died, and the cattle that did survive, reproduced a slim number of 11 calves, and within those 11 calves, only three survived. (Bamberger 195) This study was done on a small portion of the nations cattle supply when examined, but empirical data suggests that if fracking is expanded, so will the negative health effects of our food supply. Within the Marcellus Shale region in western Pennsylvania, fracking chemicals were accidently released into a pasture where one farm had their pregnant cows...

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