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Hydraulic Fracturing Research Paper

1860 words - 7 pages

Around the world, countries are dependent on oil and more often than not, foreign oil. The U.S. is at a time where they believe buying foreign oil supports terrorism and hurts our economy. Shale formations deep underground that spread all over the U.S. have been found to contain natural gas. This includes the Marcellus Shale formation and the Utica Shale formation, which can be found all throughout New York State and down the East Coast (Hydro-Fracking pg.1). To get at this abundance of gas underground, hydraulic fracturing was invented, but this new method of gas extraction safe for the environment and for the people around it?
Numerous reports have been given on the dangerous affects of hydraulic fracturing. One such affect that has been noticed is that drinking water wells near the fracturing sites have been contaminated. During the hydro-fracking process, injected fluids that help to break and keep open the rock bed where the natural gas is kept, have “been known to travel three thousand feet from the well (Goldman).” This fluid could have the potential to enter and contaminate any water well for homes around hydraulic fracturing sites. This incident is one of the major problems that people want to figure out and know about before they allow a fracturing site by them. It has been the most feared outcome of having a fracking site nearby, and it is highly appropriate. One site in Wyoming had this happen, “…in August, EPA reported that eleven of thirty-nine drinking-water wells near a Wyoming hydraulic fracturing operation were contaminated with chemicals used in the fracturing process (Hobson EPA).” In Pennsylvania, another such case occurred, “There have already been severe pollution cases in Pennsylvania, most conspicuously in Dimock, where state officials ordered Cabot Oil and Gas (a hydro-fracking company) to permanently shut down some of its wells, pay fines of nearly a quarter-million dollars and permanently provide drinking water to fourteen families whose water was ruined by the gas drilling (Applebome).” This contamination is of great concern and the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Energy and Environment Subcommittee have tried to investigate this problem (Hobson Penn. pg. 1) “In a July 19 letter to ten oil and gas producers – including BP, Chesapeake Energy, and ExxonMobil – the lawmakers requested information on the companies’ hydraulic fracturing operations and on possible human impacts. According to a subcommittee staff memo, the hydraulic fracturing companies ‘do not track whether the wells they fracture are located in underground sources of drinking water (Hobson Penn.).”
Another problem that we know exists with hydraulic fracturing is the contamination of the water, the ground, and the air around the sites (Goldman pg. 2). It has been shown that “…residents living near the hydraulic fracturing sites are increasingly worried that the drilling process might be contaminating their well water,...

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