What the Frack

Oct 28, 2014

The word fracking is used to describe the act of companies pumping potentially dangerous chemicals into the ground to break apart of the rock underneath that will release gas or oil that we can use; there are both pros and cons to this process.

Proponents to fracking say that by doing so it will make the U.S. energy independent and allow us to be exporters of gas and oil in the future according to the article "Fracking: The pros and cons of the booming and controversial extraction process"(http://www.mlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2014/05/fracking_a_divisive_p...). The main thing that worries people about fracking is that it releases chemicals into the air and into the groundwater that can contaminate it and cause harm to humans who drink that water. However, the natural gas industry says that the U.S.has been drilling into ground for a long time and the shale we drill from is "far below the water table". In some places fracking is important to jobs because the oil and gas industry is a booming business that provides jobs to many people. If fracking were to continue then the U.S. would become more energy independent and save money that we can use to spend on learning how to better harness solar and wind power for the future.

Adversaries of fracking use the point that harmful chemicals are being released into the air and potentially our water supply as their main objective to stop fracking on U.S. land. The article "The Facts on Fracking" from the "New York Times" reminds us that by allowing companies to drill into the ground and release a "previously inaccessible reservoir of carbon" we are harming the environment and contributing to climate change (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/14/opinion/global/the-facts-on-fracking.h...). The fracking acids that are used aren't federally regulated and are very dangerous to those dealing with it. Because the companies don't have to include what chemicals they use this can also be dangerous to first hand responders if an accident were to happen because they won't be sure how to handle the situation.

As Susan Brantley, the author of "The Facts on Fracking" article, states, "fracked gas merely displaces efforts to develop cleaner, non-carbon, energy sources without decreasing reliance on coal, the doom and gloom of more rapid global climate change will be realized". So while the intent of fracking is good the actual outcome of it is detrimental to the safeguarding of Earth's environment.