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Course Project - Report - Assignment Example

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A REPORT ON HYDRAULIC FRACTURING PROCESS AND THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS APPLYING TO THE PROCESS Name Institution of Affiliation Course Date A REPORT ON HYDRAULIC FRACTURING PROCESS AND THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS APPLYING TO THE PROCESS OBJECTIVES 1) To understand the legal and environmental issues related to hydraulic fracturing process…
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Download file to see previous pages energy needs. 4) To give a personal opinion regarding the hydraulic fracturing process and the laws that should be instituted. INTRODUCTION Hydraulic fracturing refers to a process used to extract gas or oil from beneath the earth’s surface by pumping liquid at high pressure to the subsurface rocks. The pressure in this liquid is enough to fracture the rocks thus establishing interconnected networks of fractures that are then used as pores for the oil and gas to move to the bored well. It is from this well that the final extraction is done. The process has been so far effective and efficient in so far as extraction of oil and natural gas is concerned (Wilber, 2012). Nonetheless, various legal and environmental issues have been raised regarding the process. Its impacts on the environment have not augured well with a majority of the environmentalists. Similarly, various legal concerns have been raised and they vary from one state to the next. In this paper, I seek to present a report on the hydraulic fracturing process, the legal and environmental issues, as well as offer some of recommendations regarding the process. DISCUSSION Hydraulic fracturing process raises various issues both legally and environmentally. The water contamination by the chemicals used during the fracking process has brought out legal issues of strict liability where individuals have asserted harm from such contaminated water. In a Pennsylvanian case of Fiorentino v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., No. 09-cv-2284 (M.D. Pa. November 15, 2010), the plaintiff seeks action to be taken against the oil and gas company. This follows the alleged contamination of the plaintiff’s water by methane and other toxins. The court refused to dismiss this case and hence opened a look into allowing plaintiff come up with a claim of strict liability against the hydraulic fracturing companies (U.S. ENVTL. PROT. AGENCY, 2009). The other legal issue presented by the hydraulic fracturing is who is to be held responsible in cases of harm occasioned by the process. From the Fiorentino v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.case, it appears that it becomes an issue to the courts to determine the liability of the fracturing company and hence seeks to follow up and develop a rule suitable for this situation. Strict liability seems to have been inapplicable in such issues from the way the defendant presents his case in these proceedings. While various states are embracing this process in gas and oil extraction, other states have banned it and hence are an illegal process. However, some states have left the discretion to the local leaders to decide whether the process should be permitted or not. Permitting such a process is done after various considerations depending on the local leaders take on the public health and safety in case of a flag to engage in the extraction process. The environmental concerns so raised by the hydraulic process are vast and alarming. First, there is a threat of contamination of the underground water brought about by the spillage of the gases and oil extracted. Most of this underground water is a source of drinking water to many, both human and the animals. In an event of contamination of the drinking water then the vast population is affected. Secondly the use of a lot of water from the ground water and the surface water during drilling and the hydraulic fracturing brings a lot of stress to these water suppliers. The drilling and fracturing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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