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The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Hydraulic Fracking

1182 words - 5 pages

“The United States is home to what some estimate to be the largest known shale gas reserves in the world. Natural gas which is often referred to as the “bridge fuel” that, according to the oil and gas industry, contributes to the country’s energy transition from coal to renewable energy sources like wind and solar” (Grace Communications Foundation, 2014) . In recent years, and in lieu of the depleting fossil fuels, natural gas use has soared but so has the controversy surrounding the environmental health, the public health, and the benefits of how the natural gas reserves are not only obtained but accessed. Though I may have been raised in the city, I understand the importance of preserving earth’s resources, both those that can immediately be used, and those like the landscapes which tell a different story of their own. Throughout this journey, it is up to you to decide if hydrofracking does more than good; it is up to you to decide how much risk you are willing to put yourself, your family, and your friends.
Hydraulic Fracturing is a method of natural gas release which came into fruition in the 1940’s since but since then over 2.5 million fracking sites can be found in the United States alone. Hydraulic Fracturing combines a different form of horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Horizontal drilling is where instead of drilling straight down, the companies use one drill as a center-point and drill around that point, thereby covering a larger radius. “The process of hydrofracking consists of pumping a mixture of water, sand, and toxic chemicals deep into the ground at intense pressures, thus shattering the underground rock formations and releasing pockets of natural gas” (Grace Communications Foundation, 2014) 1. While every company performs this process with various mixtures in their fracking fluid, it has been found that in some cases the mixtures also contain known cancer causing agents (carcinogens).
To some the benefits of hydrofracking may out way the risks. “Hydrofracking allows us to access billions of reserves to exploit natural resources that were once believed to be unattainable. It has truly turned our industry around” (Tiger General) . By introducing hydrofracking into an area, there would be a high job demand, and for those who have been in search of employment since the economy went under, it could not have come at a better time. In Pennsylvania, hydrofracking added 72,000 jobs between 2009 and 2011 alone. “A higher job demand means more business for those local store owners, possibly showing those store owners the most business they’ve seen in years. The oil companies would lease land from landowners, thereby receiving a check for the land leased which would probably benefit those living on Social Security the most ” (Shannon Friel, 2014) . “ Hydrofracking is the most efficient way of extracting oil and natural gas from shale rock underneath the surface and since these oils and gases are abundant in...

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