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What The Frack Essay

1014 words - 5 pages

Is harming the environment ever justified? What if there was a way to develop a natural resource but you harmed the environment in the process, would that be fine? As a matter of fact there is a new innovative way to acquire a natural resource, natural gas, but the process brings as many risks as benefits. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process where shale rocks are fractured in order to release natural gas by puncturing and injecting fluid into the ground at high pressures. This procedure is very important because it provides us with abundances of natural gas, which is a fossil fuel that can provide many benefits to us especially now that we are lacking natural, alternative fossil ...view middle of the document...

This is basically the process of fracking summed up, seems fairly simple I would say.
Now, what benefits could hydraulic fracturing and the release of natural gas imply? Well, fracking has been known to help build local economies and provide ample energy. Natural gas has many beneficial uses, therefore the drilling of natural gas, fracking, is very handy. Natural gas aides generate electricity, fuel cars, and heat and cool homes. Also, natural gas is a very clean- burning gas and is very affordable. Hydraulic fracturing has helped boost local economies by providing many new jobs and providing tax profits to the government. Some jobs that are offered due to hydraulic fracturing are related to engineering, construction, hospitality, and equipment manufacturing. Another benefit to releasing natural gas is that natural gas releases less climate changing greenhouse gases. Natural gas is a cleaner, more affordable source of energy and may continue to generate energy and fuel for many more years, but it does come with many disadvantages.
Just as fracking presents many benefits it presents many disadvantages as well. There are 500,000 active gas wells in the United States, approximately 8 million gallons of water per fracking, and a well can be used for fracking about 18 times. This means that 72 trillion gallons of water and 360 billion gallons of chemicals are needed to run current gas wells. In other words, 72 trillion gallons of fresh water are being used for fracking, instead of being used by local residents for their households and such. Through fracking methane gas and other toxic chemicals break free and contaminate nearby groundwater. As a result, drinking water wells near fracturing sites have a methane concentration 17 times higher than other normal wells. A serious hazard is that cities nearby to fracking sites are drinking contaminated water. Over 1,000 cases of water contamination have been recognized due to nearby fracking sites. In addition to cases of water contamination, cases of...

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