EFFECTS OF FRACKING
Fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, involves drilling the earth using water to excerpt natural gas, petroleum, and brine. This type of extracting gas from underground has been used for more than 65 years. During this process, miners safely tap tight-rock foundations and shale by piercing miles underground and then turn horizontal. After drilling, they case and cement the well and thereafter, make small holes on the horizontal lots. Mixture of water, sand and other extracts are then pumped through the well pipe. The exertion of high pressure leaves the fractures held open by the sand particles. The extracts reduce resistance and pipe oxidization. Through these cracks, petroleum, natural gas, and brine flow freely. This paper will analyze whether fracking is a universal remedy for clean-burning energy of the future or an environmental tragedy in the making.
To begin with, in the United States of America, usage of coal has been displaced by the use of natural gases. In the recent past, coal contributed to early demises but the deaths have lessened since fracking appeared. On the contrary, fracking has consequences on the quality of air. Depending on natural gas, relatively to coal is creating civic well-being benefits since burning of coal produces more harmful particles in the environment whereas burning natural gas is less harmful (Howarth, Anthony, Terry Natural Gas 2012). Consequently, fracking is saving lives now and cannot be associated with saving lives at some imperceptible date in future. However, the use of natural gas has not replaced coal-fired power firms in some countries. It is therefore not fully controlling the air quality in all countries since people from other countries like Texas highly depend on coal. Moreover, the air eminence and health effects of people living near the fracking mines are barely unknown. This consequently exposes them to health risks since most of the extracted natural gases are not chastely clean.
Additionally, fracking results in intimidating human health by polluting drinking water catchment areas. However, well carried out processes, which encompasses on extraction of gas and oil from many feet underground can cause minimal threats. Oil and drinking water are at different levels and therefore, if miners pay more attention, fracking can lead to fewer dangers (Mooney, Chris, The truth about Fracking 2011). Miners should ensure that underground pipes are not leaking to avoid contaminating drinking water. Consequently, this would lead to slightly worse risks and people would be assured of clean water. However, high volumes of fracturing techniques infect drinking water. In the United States, citizens living near fracking mines complain of polluted water. Due to methane gas found during fracking, some tap water turns out to be flammable after contamination. This consequently causes blowouts, which are a total hazard towards the public (Manuel, John EPA tackles Fracking 2010). Companies involved in drilling processes should test whether the water is fouled and alert citizen to take precautions. They should also avoid trade secrets to facilitate healthy living of the citizens.
Moreover, fracking operations that drill many feet underground change the geology in a negative way and this can result in earthquakes. However, fracking operations cause minor earthquakes. Earthquakes have been occurring and few fracking operations have contributed to them. Over thousand years, seismic effects because of fracking have been minimal. Consequently, citizens are not guaranteed of safety with the rate of current fracking. On the other hand, United State is highly depending on using natural gases and this is increasing the rate of drilling. Miners are drilling deeper in search for more gas and this is a massive threat (Holzman, David, Environmental Health Perspectives, 2011). Since the rate of unconventional energy and shale gas rose in the United States, incidents of earthquakes have greatly increased. This poses threat to the state’s economy since budgets of unseen threats have to be made. For instance, Oklahoma in the United States was not considered prone to earthquakes (Manuel, John EPA tackles Fracking 2010). Areas around Oklahoma have fracking operations and since they were started, the strongest recorded quake occurred in 2011. This evidently proves that increment in fracking operations would be a huge threat in future.
Conclusively, I believe that fracking is an environmental tragedy in the making. Its real effects are hazardous and they would ruin many lives if not mitigated. The laws should be changed to catch up with the negative effects of fracking. Companies should join with other agencies to ensure that extraction of the natural gases has minimal negative effects towards the public. The agencies can provide rules and regulations that drilling companies should follow. The agencies should also educate the citizens about the reforms that have been made towards the drilling companies. It can provide clear guidelines that would enable citizens understand the laid down laws. Consequently, citizens would use the existing authorities to report the companies that bleach the rules. This would enhance environmental and health safeguards. Moreover, it should be a law that the industries should disclose the chemicals they use in the fracking processes. This would enable the citizens to take precautions and enable health agencies to guide citizens on what measures to take if an individual becomes a victim.
Fracking, Of. “The Future.” (2012).
Holzman, David C. “Methane found in well water near fracking sites.” Environmental health perspectives 119.7 (2011): a289.?
Howarth, Robert W., Anthony Ingraffea, and Terry Engelder. “Natural gas: Should fracking stop?.” Nature 477.7364 (2011): 271-275.
Manuel, John. “Mining: EPA tackles fracking.” Environmental health perspectives 118.5 (2010): A199.
Mooney, Chris. “The truth about fracking.” Scientific American 305.5 (2011): 80-85.?
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