Hydraulic Fracturing - Assignment Example

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Fracking or hydraulic fracturing is a technique that has been widely used worldwide to extract oil and gas from the formations of shale deep in the earths surface (Maule et al. 168). Consequently, hydraulic fracturing involves the digging of vertical wells measuring from 5000 to…
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Geography Hydraulic Fracturing Fracking or hydraulic fracturing is a technique that has been widely used worldwideto extract oil and gas from the formations of shale deep in the earths surface (Maule et al. 168). Consequently, hydraulic fracturing involves the digging of vertical wells measuring from 5000 to 9000 ft deep into the ground. The wells are lined with steel and then cemented into place (Maule et al. 168). The gun located in the base into the shale then shoots electric currents. This then allows the pressurized fluids and proppant inserted into the shale to produce fractures in the shale stratum (Maule et al. 168). Moreover, the proppants are graded and suspended in the pressurized fluid, and they include white sand, ceramic or spherical manmade particles. In this scenario, it allows the gas trapped in the shale and other minerals to be forced to the surface (Maule et al. 168).
Furthermore, despite the benefits of hydraulic fracturing, it raises concerns on environmental matters. The greatest threat is to the human wellbeing and groundwater pollution (Maule et al. 168). In addition, fracking has made life expensive in the neighborhoods where it is carried out. I have let to the increase of rent rates and change of the natural landscape. Most worrying is the fast disappearing off the natural forests that are slowly being turned into factories of finding fossil fuel.
The other disadvantages associated with hydraulic fracturing include congestion of trucks, noise from fracking sites and many other environmental problems. The environmental changes brought about by fracking have risen concerned amongst people, government and nongovernmental organizations concerning the safety of the environment (Vergano 1). The other demerits include the expansion of this activity into urban centers whereby drilling is carried out 24 hours a day. Some small farmers have leased their land for and forced them to, leave their native land and go elsewhere because of the environmental issues like noise and air pollution.
Fracking can also cause earthquakes. The report that was released this month by the National Research Council shows that fracking does not have high risk to earthquakes. However, it cautioned that deeper disposal of the wastewater could trigger quakes like the ones that shook Youngstown in Ohio State last year (Vergano 1).
According to Marketline, companies involved in hydraulic fracturing have not publicly published their reports concerning the leakages they have had or the environmental dangers of fracking (Marketline 19). In this scenario, there is concern that water in the surrounding neighborhoods could be safe for drinking. Fracking also leads to the emission of radioactive materials into the surface. Radioactive materials like Radium 226 are now at their highest levels that could be dangerous tour environment (Marketline 20).
In my view, despite the dangers posed by Hydraulic fracturing to the environment, it is a useful economic activity in that it creates employment to young people and supports the economy of the country. Moreover, it has subsidized other more dangerous fossil fuels rich it carbon compounds that lead to global warming thus it acts as an n alternative source of energy. The concerned government should impose strict laws and regulations concerning the extraction of gas from the shale. It should also ensure that those laws are followed, and those companies that break them should face heavy penalties.
Works Cited
Marketline. “Hydraulic Fracturing.” Web Published on April 2014.p.19-20.
Maule, Alexis, Makey, Colleen, Benson, Eugene, Barrows, Isaac and Scammel, Madeleine. “Disclosure of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Chemical Additives: Analysis of Regulations.” New Solutions 23.1 (2013):167-187. Print.
Vergano, Dan. “Natural gas gold rush: Is your state next?”
Web. 26 September 2013. . Read More
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