February 1, 2012
Are We Fracking or Making Fraccidents?
Fracking is a relatively new process of natural gas extraction. Fracking refers to the procedure of creating fractures in rocks and rock formations by injecting fluid into cracks to force them further open. The step-by-step process to fracking is this: First they start out by drilling vertically into the ground to a desired depth. It then turns ninety degrees and continues horizontally several thousand feet into shale, which is believed to contain trapped natural gas. A mixture of water, sand, and various chemicals, that fracking companies will not disclose, is pumped into the well, which splits the shale so that the natural gas can escape. The natural gas escapes
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Lastly, the US industry employs more than 1.2 million people currently, and the Department of Energy estimates that natural gas recourses have gone up 65 percent due to fracking. Some cons to fracking are: Water pollution. "Opponents of such regulation [of fracking] claim that hydraulic fracturing has never caused any drinking water contamination. They say this because incidents of drinking water contamination where hydraulic fracutring is considered as a suspected cause have not been sufficiently investigated." (Natural Recourse Defense Council, blog). Companies don’t have to disclose chemicals used in the process of fracking. Lastly, fracking requires large amounts of our fresh water. Fracking is done in Pennsylvania and Ohio right now. Last year in Pennsylvania, a well blew. That accident led to thousands of gallons of contaminated fracking fluid to disperse across personal properties and farms, even as cattle continued to graze. A cracked well casing may have been the cause of the spill. However, certain details regarding the spill will not be let out to public until the situation is under control. “The chemicals used in fracking fluids have been a continuous subject, as many energy companies have long guarded them as a trade secret.” (Huffington Post green News Blog, February 2, 2012). Ohio is another state where fracking is taking place. Similar to Pennsylvania, Ohio has environmental issues that need to be studied. Decmeber 31, 2011, a magnitude