Hydraulic Fracturing in Newfoundland

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This essay will examine the arguments for and against hydraulic fracturing in Newfoundland. Hydraulic fracturing is the process of retrieving natural gas from the earth by injecting fluid into a L-shaped borehole and pressurizing it, cracking the bedrock and releasing methane gas. Opponents of HF claim that the process is an environmental hazard and will have negative economic impacts on Newfoundland’s tourism industry. Although these arguments have a solid logical appeal, opponents tend to exaggerate and overuse emotional appeals. Supporters of HF argue that it is unlikely that HF will have any negative effects on the environment, especially in the next few hundred years. Supporters also argue that HF will improve Newfoundland’s economy and supply the province with more jobs. While these arguments are backed with logical data, supporters attempt to undermine the environment argument by citing inconclusive research, which in turns weakens their own research. In addition, both parties overgeneralize the effects of HF. The opponents of HF in Newfoundland have a stronger argument as they provide alternative, eco-friendly industries for Newfoundland to focus on instead of natural gas, whereas supporters of HF offer no compromises or alternatives.
Hydraulic fracturing occurs in boreholes over 1000m below the surface of the earth, in lines that run parallel to the aquifers above. The boreholes are pressurized with HF fluid to release methane gas, which travels up through the pipes and is collected for processing into natural gas. Those against HF claim that the fracturing of the bedrock will release methane gas and hydraulic fluid into the aquifers through upward migration or leaks in the pipelines. Those against HF in Newfo...

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