Hydraulic Fracturing aka Fracking
In today’s society we are constantly faced with this dilemma of whether or not we as a community are doing enough for our environment? Are you fighting for its equality and the equality of those inhabiting it? Are we making sure that our carbon footprints are not so massive that they will stomp on the opportunities of future generations? The environment holds a number of pressing issues that we must not only consider but also address. One of these environmental issues is that of hydraulic fracturing.
What is hydraulic fracturing, you might ask? Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the drilling done by oil companies in order to release natural gas from the earth. They perform this fracking by combining an exuberant amount of water with sand and over an estimated 700 chemicals. From then, they use massive drills which they force into shales, or areas that have prospective amounts of natural gas. Once they drill into these shales, the highly pressurized mixture cracks below the grounds surface, causing a slight earthquake some would say, allowing the natural gas to seep through the cracks.
This method of accumulating natural gas has become a growing phenomenon amongst oil companies for a number of reasons. The first is that they believe it will allow for the United States to become more independent from foreign nations in the acquisition of natural gas. In addition, they hope this will provide more jobs and decrease rates of unemployment.
However, there are a number of negative side effects of this type of drilling. First and foremost, the regulations implemented in order to prevent the following side effects from occurring are not strongly enforced around the country leading to mishaps and serious disasters. Some of these negative consequences are: chemicals leaking into water supply, neurological side effects, breast cancer, depletion and harm to natural wildlife, etc. These all happen in large part because oil companies haphazardly close the cracks from which they have excreted this natural gas from. The companies also do not dispose of these chemicals in an efficient manner or in a way that prevents other states from being subjected to hydraulic fracturing.
The powerpoint below lists a number of negative side effects of fracking and a brief overview of the chemicals involved, the regulations in place, and a documentary that uncovers the trauma done by these oil companies.