List Of Pros And Cons Of Fracking
Fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, has begun to rise in popularity over the past few years. This practice of sending blasts of water, chemicals and sand beneath the Earth’s surface to gain access to valuable natural gas and oil has become useful, but there are pros and cons that must be weighed when deciding whether fracking is something that society should come to rely upon.
List of Pros of Fracking
1. Access More Gas and Oil
Fracking allows us to access more natural gas and oil than ever before. As the world’s supplies of these resources continue to dwindle, finding new methods to obtain additional oil and gas becomes more and more important. Scientists estimate that these resources will begin to run out during our lifetimes, so until we find a true replacement fuel, fracking is likely here to stay.
2. Improved Air Quality
By using natural gas to generate electricity instead of coal, the resulting improvement to air quality is easy to quantify. When natural gas is used, carbon dioxide emissions are reduced significantly, which leads to a marked decrease in air pollution. Toxins that would normally be released into the air are no longer a danger. Mercury and ash emissions are also eradicated.
3. Decrease Dependency on Foreign Oil
Fracking also allows the United States to decrease its dependency on foreign oil. As population continues to increase, with no end to the nation’s potentially crippling oil addiction in sight, it pays to uncover more domestic sources for oil.
4. Lower Taxes
While continuing to raid every possible inch of the country for new oil sources will certainly impeded attempts to wean the nation of its oil dependency, the positive effects fracking has on taxes are not easily ignored. The security and peace of mind that comes with knowing that there is a domestic oil supply is also helpful.
5. Increase Return on Investment
Conventional techniques of drilling do not produce the same results as fracking, which is especially important as the United States looks for more unconventional oil and natural gas sources. Drilling at less conventional sites necessitates the use of fracking, to maximize return on investment.
List of Cons of Fracking
1. Lack of Exploring New Energy Sources
The main conflict between those who support fracking and those who do not is more of a philosophical split. Fracking detractors claim that continuing to exploit every square inch of the nation, in a desperate search for more natural gas and oil is only delaying the inevitable. The belief that renewable energy should be taking priority over discovering new sources of gas and oil is pervasive.
2. Water Droughts
Considering the fact that over half the nation is currently experiencing water droughts, the concept of using massive amounts of water to probe underground for oil and gas that may not even be available has given pause to many environmental observers.
3. Increased Pollution
Conventional drilling uses far less water, but is not always as effective. Fracking has been linked to a decrease in water supplies in areas where it has been conducted. This is especially true in instances where multiple darlings occur at the same site. There is also concern about the increase in pollution to the water and air in the surrounding areas where fracking takes place. Water supplies in fracking zones have been known to show an increased presence of toxic chemicals.
In addition, these toxins are also released into the air, which leads to an increase in air pollution. Waste water from fracking is almost impossible to fully dispose of. Anywhere from 10 to 40 percent of fracking waste water flows back to the original drilling surface. This could have far reaching long term consequences, as ground water supplies can become contaminated.
4. Spread of Toxins
There is essentially no way for local communities to prepare themselves for specific chemicals, as fracking companies are not required by law to provide a list of which chemicals they will be using for the job. Scientists are also at a loss for predicting potential downfalls, and emergency personnel are unprepared for accidents that could occur.
5. Noise Pollution
Residents of areas where fracking takes place also have concerns about the effect that the consistent presence of heavy vehicles has on their daily lives. These heavy vehicles cause increased noise pollution in residential areas and turn them into industrial work zones. Since fracking is conducted at all hours of the day and night, this causes consternation for those who are affected by the additional light and noise.`