Industrial Revolution, America’s energy consumption has risen at an incessantly
rate. Fossil fuels like coal and natural gas have supplied the country with a
majority of this energy consumption. Hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known
as “fracking,” has been a highly controversial method of extracting natural
gas. Fracking is the recovery of natural gas from layers deep inside of the earth.
This gas was likely formed millions of years ago as layers of decaying organisms
were exposed to intense heat and pressure under the earth’s crust. Hydraulic
fracturing is incredibly beneficial when employed properly. This technique
offers one way for meeting our demand for lower-cost energy and allows us to
extract and use these gases to potentially power the nation for years to come. It
is undeniable that fracking has reshaped the energy landscape around the world.
The birth of
modern day hydraulic fracturing began in the 1940s. In 1947, Floyd Farris of
Stanolind Oil and Gas. In spite of that, only in the last ten years has there
been a fracking fixation in the United States. It has been used more than a
million times in the U.S. The obsession has increased because most conventional
natural gas sources on the American continent have been used. Because of this
exhaustion, the prices of natural gases and other fuels are rising in a steady
manner. Complicated and expensive strategies, like fracking, have now become
popular and profitable ways of extracting these much needed resources. Over
sixty percent of all new oil and gas wells are drilled by using fracking.
First, a shaft is
drilled several hundred meters into the earth. From there, a horizontal hole is
drilled into the gas-bearing layer of compressed black layer called the shale
rock formation. Next, the fracturing fluid is pumped into the ground at a
pressure so high it cracks the shale rock creating fractures through which
trapped gas and oil can escape. The fracking fluid consists of mostly water.
The rest is made up of concentrated chemical additives. These additives vary
depending on the fracking site, but fall into three categories: acids, slickwater,
and disinfectant. The acid is used to clear debris and dissolve the minerals. Slickwater
is a slippery water that lessens the friction. The disinfectant kills off
bacteria and prevents it from growth as well. Sand or clay is also mixed into
the water mixture to open up the cracks so the gas and oil can escape, even
when the extreme pressure is released. Then, the majority of the fracking fluid
is pumped out again, which allows the natural gas to be collected. After
recovering the recovery of the gas, companies must abide by certain laws that
make them pump the fracking fluid back into the deep underground layers of the
earth. The drill hole is then sealed after the source is completely used up.
fracturing has impacted lives in a variety of ways. This technique has helped
the economy and environment and the accessibility with domestic resources. Many
people believe that hydraulic fracking has many flaws that can cause damage to
life and the environment such as water contamination and earthquakes.
Personally, I believe the benefits outweigh the risks.
The process of
hydraulic fracturing has helped the economy grow and has also helped protect
the environment. According to Brookings EDU, the United States fracking
revolution has caused natural gas prices to drop a whopping 47% since 2013.
Brookings EDU claims that it has also lowered gas bills for houses by about
$200. The fracking business has also attracted and employed many Americans. Because there are lot of oil and natural gas deposits
that still needs to be developed, the number of people employed in oil and
natural gas extraction will only rise. The increase in use of fracking
technology has seen 67% rise in employment. Hydraulic fracturing has also
helped protect our environment. One of the main complaints about fossil fuels
is that they cause pollution. When oil and coal are burned they release carbon
dioxide into the air, contributing to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that
are causing global warming. Besides carbon dioxide, coal also releases
dangerous compounds and elements into the air such as sulfur, which is
poisonous. Not only does
fracking help with economic and environmental problems, but it also
helps with the accessibility of native resources.
The politics of the
world are difficult enough without throwing energy problems into the mix.
However, the lack of fossil fuels and the fact that they are not distributed evenly all
around the world is a source of real tension amongst some of the most power countries
of the world. Because we now have more access to more gas deposits, America no
longer has to rely on other countries for at least some of our fossil fuels.
Instead, America can rely on America to provide energy for itself. This could
help, ease the tensions between some of the most powerful countries in the
world. With the fracking technique, gas deposits can be found all over
the world and be accessed relatively easy. This means that there is time to
research more safe and effective ways of energy before we run out of our non-renewable
sources of energy since there is still controversy over the process of hydraulic
pumping the fluids back into the earth are because it can contaminate water. I
believe that this is not a major issue because the companies typically encase the
wells with steel and cement to prevent the contaminants from leaking into
ground water. According to a study conducted by Yale University, drinking
waters and oil and gas deposits are found in two very different levels of
ground. Yale researchers reported that there has been only a handful of major
incidents related to the fracking process.
Another concern is
earthquakes. There are chances for earthquakes because of the extreme pressure
it is exerting on the layers below. Yale University has also announced that earthquakes
are hardly a risk. They stated that earthquakes occur naturally and even in the
few instances where hydraulic fracturing likely contributed to them, they were
minor. Researchers from Yale also claim that there have been practically zero incidents
in which fracking has induced seismic effects on citizens. There has been
research to suggest that potential earthquakes can be alleviated through
production is essential for America. Without it, the U.S. would be without
cars, water heaters, stoves, and so much more. America, literally and figuratively,
runs on energy. Hydraulic fracturing is a relatively easy process to obtain substantial
amounts of natural gas. Fracking has allowed the United States to produce more
energy than ever before to meet the needs of our energy-hungry society. The process
of retrieving this energy may have its risks, but the benefits undoubtedly outweigh