Controversy Analysis, fracking, air pollution, gasland, - Essay Example

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With all forms of mineral and gas extraction, the process itself is less than environmentally friendly. As such, this brief essay will consider the case of natural gas extraction via a process known as “fracking” and/or slant drilling. In defining, describing, and seeking to understand the ramifications of such a process, the author hopes to inform the reader regarding the overall environmental/health risks that such a process entails and weigh these against the unique benefits of domestic economic gain that is a function of increased labor necessitated for extraction as well as the decreased fuel bills experienced by individuals as a function of having available domestic sources of fuel …
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Controversy Analysis, fracking, air pollution, gasland,
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Download file to see previous pages Moreover, due to the harm and damage to the environment that fracking implies, it will be the recommendation of this author that fracking should ultimately be suspended until a means of resource extraction that is not so horrifically damaging to the environment is found. Fracking itself is a process whereby a fluid is injected below the surface layer of rock and sediment to pressurize underlying regions of rocks to create fissures within these layers so that the trapped reserves of petroleum or natural gas may find their way into pockets and thereby be extracted via conventional means (Rijke 14). As was discussed in Gasland, due to the fact that drilling a new well in order to tap pockets of resources is inefficient and harmful to the environment, many resource extraction experts have turned to fracking as a quick way to help consolidate a regions gas/petroleum resources and make these amenable to fast and rather painless extraction process. The process itself does however have its unique drawbacks (Clean Air and Natural Gas 1). These unique drawbacks will of course be related in further detail the proceeding sections of this analysis. One of the main drawbacks to fracking, that was referenced in Gasland is of course the environmental effects that fracking entails. Although there is a high level of disagreement on the actual environmental damage that fracking causes, it can be understood that regardless of one’s particular view of the situation fracking has the potential to unleash any one of a host of negative environmental externalities (Adgate 81) Some of these include: improper disposal of waste water, overall integrity of pipeline system and risk of blowouts due to over pressure, affects of having fluid water pervade multiple layers of subsurface rock and sediment and thereby diffuse through these contaminating hitherto untouched samples with key elements and contaminants from the other subsurface sedimentary layers, and the long-term effects to health and safety of the drinking water supply as a result of the process itself (Weinhold 278). Because this process itself is extraordinarily damaging to the local environment, a number of opponents, this author included, have raised their voice with regards to seeking to suspend the process indefinitely (The Case for a Ban on Fracking 1). This understanding is not a matter of a convenient level of agreement with the documentary film Gasland; rather it is understood in this particular manner due to the host of negative implications that it entails for the environment as well as the health of the people affected by it. Due to the issues that have been listed above in this analysis as well as the fact that so little is still known regarding the long term results that fracking necessarily entails, it is in the best interest of all involved to seek to bring such a practice to a premature end as a means of salvaging what is left of our tender environment and ecosystems (Porter 1). As such, the reader can quickly infer that the process of fracking likely entails ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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