Essay on The Harm Caused By Hydraulic Fracking

Essay on The Harm Caused By Hydraulic Fracking

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The year 1821 marked history when William Hart dug the first successful natural gas well. Since then, natural gas has become a vital part in heating and cooling homes, cooking, and powering automobiles. Natural gas is also a useful tool in manufacturing products, such as glass or polyethylene. This hydrocarbon energy source is twenty-seven percent of the total energy consumption in the United States alone (EIA, U.S. energy consumption by major fuel type). However, it is not just one big pocket of black gold, oil and gas are in thousands of little pockets underground. By fracturing rocks around the pockets, the gas is released and collected. Even though natural gas is one of the cleanest burning fossil fuels, not many are aware of the damage that has been caused through fracturing in order to obtain this natural resource. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is harmful not only to the environment but to our health; and while it isn’t ideal to eliminate hydraulic fracturing, there should be tighter restrictions on the process to obtain the resource to protect the environment.
Firstly, hydraulic fracturing uses an enormous amount of water. Just to frack one well, one time, it takes approximately two to six million gallons of water. That is enough to run a town of about 42,000 people for a day. The world is majority of salt water, not fresh water and hydraulic fracturing uses only fresh water. As a whole, the fracking industry used 26.6 billion gallons of fresh water in 2011. Plus, in rural areas, fracking can account for 25% of water usage. This is extremely wasteful and a misuse of water that could be going to the people. Fracking produces a lot more wastewater than traditional oil and gas drilling. Not only is an extreme amount of w...


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...water, 1% sand, and 0.5% chemical additives. Some of the chemical additives are used in ice cream. Plus, Colorado’s Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper, drank fracking fluid to prove its safety to his local residents. The water used in the fracking process can also be stored, reinjected, and recycled. When this is done correctly, fracking should not contaminate drinking water aquifers. Companies don’t want to harm the environment, and have set out ways to improve the fracturing process. Methane emissions are twenty percent lower in 2010 compared to 1990. This shows how the method to obtain natural gas is improving not getting worse.
Considering all the arguments, hydraulic fracturing is a very important resource to the nation however, because it is harmful to the environment, it is best that there should be heavy restrictions put on obtaining the resource.






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