9 Meaningful Pros and Cons of Fracking
Hydraulic fracturing, which is most commonly referred to as fracking, is a controversial process used to extract natural gases from within the earth. This is done by drilling a hole deep down into the earth’s surface and then pumping in a mixture of water and chemicals at extremely high pressures to release the gases. Fracking is a process that has been practiced for nearly 70 years, and is the most efficient way that we know of the extract and utilize the natural resources that are only found within the Earth. While it creates some pretty extensive benefits, it also causes irreversible damage that cannot be overlooked. Let’s explore further into the world of fracking and see how the pros and cons weigh out.
The Pros of Fracking
1. Reduces the Cost of Fuel
Since the fracking process is so efficient at what it does, it also greatly lowers the amount that is paid for the fuel. The wells pump out so much fuel each and every day that fracking alone could sustain the energy needs on our planet for nearly two hundred years.
2. Lower Emissions When Burning
When you compare the natural gases that are extracted by fracking to other types of fuel sources, it comes out on top nearly every time. Other fuels, like coal, burn very dirty and cause damage and pollution to our atmosphere. Natural gases produce a much lower carbon emission, and is the better option in the long run.
3. Creates a Wealth of Jobs
Fracking is a humongous business, and this means that it brings in humongous amount of jobs. Not only is there an abundance of jobs in this industry, they also pay exceedingly well when compared to other jobs that can be obtained with the same level of education and skill sets. Many people see this as the best things about the practice, it benefits the communities as well as the economy.
4. Energy Independence
The biggest sign of a country’s power is how much fuel and energy resources they own and control. Countries who do not produce enough fuel and energy to sustain themselves are energy dependent, which means that you are at the mercy of other countries. Fracking is giving the United States the ability to one day become energy independent. The gases that are obtained through fracking would be able to sustain the country until other forms of energy are more obtainable and perfected, such as solar power. This would be a huge step for the country as a whole.
The Cons of Fracking
1. Chemicals Galore
Over 600 different chemicals have been proven to be effective in the fracking process. For each and every “job” up to 10 of these chemicals are mixed together and pumped into the ground at an alarming rate. This raises quite a bit of concern for the surrounding areas and the workers who are directly involved with the process. Some of the chemicals that have been identified are very toxic, such as formaldehyde. Another concerning fact about the chemicals that are used is that the large majority of them are a well kept secret, causing eyebrows to raise even higher.
2. Things Go Wrong
When the wells are drilled, they can be fracked multiple times in order to ensure that every single drop of gas has been obtained. After the first time a well has been pumped, the dangers of leaks rises. When these wells leak, all of the fore mentioned chemicals leak into the air, land, and water sources. The chemicals also cause damage to the health of the people working near by and the animals or plants on surrounding land.
3. Leaves the Land Desolate
It doesn’t matter where it is, the best spots for fracking will be obtained and destroyed. This could be a family farm, forest, or literally anywhere. They will come in and get that land from you and ruin it forever. After all of the chemicals are pumped into the ground, nothing can grow, nothing is sustained any further. Animals can no longer thrive there because there is nothing to graze on. If this continues, all of the areas that are ideal for fracking will be used for fracking and nothing more.
4. The Pollution Doesn’t End
Pollution is a word that describes every aspect of what fracking is. Not only is the climate being polluted from the burning of the natural gases that are extracted, the generators that are used to pump the water and fuel the drills, and the chemicals that are put into the air and the land, but one other big things causes massive pollution and issues. For each well that is being fracked, over 6 million gallons of water is used. Where does this water come from you ask? It gets shipped in on an endless caravan of tanker trucks. For a single well, well over 2,000 trips must be made to bring in the water. Large trucks are on of the biggest causes of pollution that we know of, besides large operations. The trips must also be made to pump out the waste water and bring it out. It is truly disgusting the damage that this does.
5. The Employees Suffer
A multitude of health problems have been directly attributed to exposure to the chemicals used when fracking. The people who man these operations often suffer from random and in explainable nosebleeds, migraines, and even cancer. All of these have been positively attributed to the work done on fracking facilities.