How Natural is Natural Gas?

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How natural is Natural Gas? Natural gas extraction and consumption has risen over the past thirty years. Also known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking, a tremendous amount of uproar is being made in the environmental and political communities. Natural gas use is a great source of energy worldwide, only in America have we had a gold rush affect when it comes to extraction. Natural gas provides less dependence on foreign oil, less need for coal plants, and a more affordable energy source worldwide. There are many advantages to using natural gas but the way in which it is being extracted has caused many people to become sick. The detrimental environmental impacts caused by hydraulic fracturing continue to rise. Not to mention the political pull on big corporations and water quality standards. Currently in the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania and the Barnett shale in Texas, the air and water quality have diminished over the past years since drilling sites ran rampant. Natural gas is natural in terms of how it came to be, but not natural in how they extract it and the problems it is causing everyone involved. To make aware the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, environmental impacts, water quality and air emissions, must be considered. Background Information According to the U.S. Department of Energy [USDE], the earliest sightings of natural gas date back to 100 to 125 A.D, referred to as eternal fires by Plutarch’s writings, found in present day Iraq. These flames were more than likely natural gas that was ignited by lighting and escaping from cracks in the ground. During the 1800’s William A. Hart of Fredonia, New York , noticed those blue flames shooting through cracks nearby and decided to drill a twenty-seven foot deep well in... ... middle of paper ... ... Wastewater. Environmental Health Perspectives,122(2), A50-A55. doi:10.1289/ehp.122-A50 Department of Energy, U.S. (2000). Natural Gas fueling the blue flame. Retrieved from http://www.fossil.energy.gov/education/energylessons/gas/gas_history.html Environmental Protection Agency (2014, March 16). The Process of Hydraulic Fracturing US EPA. Retrieved April 21, 2014, from www2.epa.gov/hydraulicfracturing/process-hydraulic-fracturing Perry, S. L. (2012). Development, Land use, and Collective Trauma: The Marcellus Shale Gas Boom in Rural Pennsylvania. Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment, 34(1),81-92. doi:10.111/j.2153-9561.2012.01066.x Weinhold, B. (2012). The Future of Fracking. Environmental Health Perspectives, 120(7), A272-A279 http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=4ef5af90-4bfc-4644-8072-00c439e2f9a2%40sessionmgr4002&vid=4&hid=4205
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