Most people today have heard about fracking. It is a way of extracting natural gas from the ground, specifically out of a mineral called shale. It is done by first drilling a hole to where the shale deposit is, and subsequently sending a blast of water from the top down, a mixture of water, sand, and potentially dangerous chemicals used for the extraction process. This mixture is able to break down the shale, releasing the natural gas and oil that is trapped within. It has been used successfully for many years to provide millions of gallons of oil and natural gas, however, there are some that believe that this process is actually dangerous.
Dangers Of Fracking
There are a couple of reasons that this might be a dangerous way to extract oil and natural gas from the ground. First of all, there are the chemicals used in the water to complete this process. The chemicals are carcinogenic, and there is the belief that this will actually get into the aquifers, contaminating the drinking water for people now and future generations. There is also the fact that scientists have realized that this procedure is causing earthquakes. For example, in Oklahoma, thousands of earthquakes have been registered since this process first started, whereas prior to that time, there were but a handful throughout the state. The problem with inducing earthquakes in the ground is that it could cause catastrophic damage, setting off a larger earthquakes in the future. These could happen thousands of miles away, affecting major fault lines, and thereby lead to the potential of natural disasters that could take thousands of lives.
The Benefits Of Fracking
The primary benefits of this process include the production of natural gas and oil that would otherwise not be available, especially in the United States. There are significant deposits in shale that contain these fossil fuels, and without this process, they would not be available. It has allowed countries to slow down on their dependency to international oil, specifically from Saudi Arabia. This keeps more money in the countries that are able to produce oil. In this manner, helping their economies.
Unfortunately, there tends to be a negative with every positive associated with this process, and there doesn’t seem to be an easy answer. Until it can be conclusively proven that this is causing more damage than good, it will continue to be a viable way of producing fossil fuels.