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The Use of Fracking Research Paper

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Updated: Nov 26th, 2019

Introduction

As a result of the ever-increasing demand for natural gas, over the recent past numerous organizations have ventured into exploiting shale deposits for natural gas using the fracking method. Basically, this method entails sinking of boreholes and creating fractures in the bedrock layer using a fluid (a solution of water that is mixed with numerous chemicals) that has been subjected to high pressures.

The created cracks in the bedrock will allow natural gas and oil to escape from their banks into wells to facilitate easy harvesting. Since its discovery, natural gas extracted using this method has helped to bridge the gap that was created by the low supply and high demand of natural gas.

Currently, natural gas that is mined using this method accounts for more than 35% of America’s domestic gas demand. Although this method of mining gas has helped to cover and surpass the gas deficit that existed before 2006, there are numerous controversies that surround its mining, because of its overall effects on the environment, people’s health and the quality of life of those people who live near wells or those who are displaced and resettled somewhere in order to pave way for drilling.

Some of the negative effects that are associated with this process include releasing of harmful gases that contribute to global warming when they burn, pollution of drinking water, and releasing of gases that are harmful to people’s health(Graves 99-126) . Therefore, considering the deadly nature of these effects, the need to protect the environment for both present and future generations, and the need to protect human life, this method of mining gas is not good at all.

Why Fracking is not good

As research studies show, roughly 29 of the chemicals that are mixed with water and used in this process are carcinogens that are very harmful to human beings and animals. What makes it worse is that, although majority of these are grouped in the class of deadly chemicals by the U.S’s Drinking Water Act, fracking companies are still allowed to use them.

Out of the 29, three are known deadly air polluters. Some of the most dangerous chemicals that are used in this method include Lead, Ethylene Oxide, Benzene, Nitrilotriacetic acid, Formaldehyde, diesel and Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate.

Although there are numerous laws that have been put in place to govern the kind of chemicals that are used in this process, majority of these rules and regulations are rarely followed. In addition to chemicals that are used during the process, the high volume of water that is used during this process is normally polluted with disease causing agents such benzene and highly corrosive salts.

Besides these chemicals, the water is also rich in radioactive substances that are naturally found in gas and oil banks and which do not reach the ground when a typical oil and gas mining process is used. Therefore, because most individuals depend on rivers, boreholes, and water reservoirs for domestic water, their wellbeing is always threatened by this extremely polluted water as it can cause very deadly diseases (DeGette, Markey and Waxman1-9).

In addition to polluting water, as recent studies show, there is a very close connection between fracking and earthquakes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), although this is a topic that is still under intensive study, early results have shown that most areas where a lot of fracking has taken place have high chances of being victims of earthquakes. This is because the use of highly pressurized water can cause a very big displacement of rocks in the Earth’s crust; hence, triggering a seismic activity.

A good example of a place that has been affected by this is Arkansas. On the other hand, this method adds carbon footprints to the environment due to the high concentration of methane gas that can easily burn to release carbon dioxide. Generally, fracking allows the spillage of methane into the environment, which when ignited in its raw form releases carbon dioxide, one of the major greenhouse gases that have greatly contributed to global warming (Holzman 289).

Another major environmental hazard that is linked with this method is the excessive use of water. When doing using fracking, one has to use millions of liters of water, which in most cases must be got from boreholes.

As research study shows, such usage denies local residents of where the drilling is taking place a chance of having enough and clean water to support their livelihood as most of them have to fight for the scarce clean drinking water. A good example of an area that has greatly suffered from drought a result of this is Texas. During 2012’s summer, there was a great drought in Texas, which was associated with the use of Fracking, as the process wastes high volumes of water.

Apart from Texas, some areas in the UK also suffered the wrath of drought, because of using this method to a level that all forms of horse piping were banned for a while. Therefore, this is a clearly indication that, if this method is continuously used, chances of a human crisis arising due to drought are high (Hargreaves 1).

On the other hand, because of lack of proper legislation to protect the owners of lands whose farms rest on these natural resources, the fundamental right of such individuals to own such land is at risk.

According to the laws of most states, ownership of land is basically defined in terms of owning surface land and not the minerals that are under that land. In most scenarios, “split estates” are properties of the state; hence, any private company has the right of exploiting such a resource, as long as it is assumed that such exploitation is for the good of the state.

A good example is the nature of land power and freedom that is enjoyed by Chesapeake, one of America’s biggest fracking companies. As numerous land reports show, this company has “grabbed” numerous acres of people’s land in the name of drilling natural gas for the common good of the society with little compensation (Driver, Grow and Schneyer 1).

Therefore, considering the loopholes that have been created by current federal laws, there is need for this method of mining natural gas to be abolished as it is not good at all.

Conclusion

Therefore, although shale gas has some economic benefits like helping to reduce the price of natural gas and creating employment opportunities, considering the threatening nature of its effects on the survival of present and future generations, this method should be abolished, because it is not good at all.

The use of fracking is very unsafe due to lack of proper legislation to manage it; hence, unless proper legislation, which will ensure that human life and people’s rights are respected, there is need for the federal government to ban the process and make sure that all states abolish any forms of fracking.

Works Cited

DeGette, Diana, Markey, Edward and Waxman, Henry 2011, Chemicals used in Hydraulic Fracturing. Web.

Driver, Anna, Grow, Brian, and Schneyer, Joshua. . 2012. Web.

Graves, John. Fracking: America’s Alternative Energy Solution, Ventura CA: Safe Harbor International Publishing, 2012. Print.

Hargreaves, Steve. . 2012. Web.

Holzman, David. “Methane Found in Well Water near Fracking sites.” Environ Health Perspect 119.7 (2011): 289.

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1. IvyPanda. "The Use of Fracking." November 26, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/fracking/.


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IvyPanda. "The Use of Fracking." November 26, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/fracking/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "The Use of Fracking." November 26, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/fracking/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Use of Fracking'. 26 November.

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