Earth in Perspective
More than ever before in this day and age our societies are face with an abundance of environmental issues. Some of the most notable issues are: global warming, water pollution, and deforestation to name a few. Flying under the radar of all of these is fracking. Also known as Hydraulic fracturing, “fracking”, is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside. Shale is a very fine grained fissile or laminated sedimentary rock, consistency primary of clay sized particles. This is a drill technique is being used more frequently in the United States to recover natural gas and oil deposits from shale rock for-mations located many thousands of feet below the ground surface. Unfortunately there has been much controversies related to hydraulic fracturing in recent years.
The obvious benefit to fracking is that it helps produce natural gases and oil which are nonrenewable resources. Nonrenewable resources are those resources those resources that cannot be replenished or regenerated on the scale of a human lifetime. Advocates of fracking argue that, Hydraulic Fracturing makes it possible to produce oil and natural gas in places where conventional technologies are ineffective. Fracking has unlocked massive new supplies of oil and clean-burning natural gas from dense deposits of shale supplies that increase our country’s energy security and improve our ability to generate electricity, heat homes and power vehicles for generations to come. Hydraulic fracturing has also boosted local economies generating royalty payments to property owners, providing tax revenues to the government and creating much-needed high-paying American jobs. Engineering and surveying, construction, hospitality, equipment manufacturing and environmental permitting are just some of the professions experiencing the positive ripple effects of increased oil and natural gas shale development.
Fracking has caused oil and gas companies to be are extremely profitable for several decades. Yet much of their current success was the result of not just favorable tax incentives and subsidies but also direct federal research. Federal energy subsidies began in 1916 and focused almost exclusively on increasing the production of domestic oil and gas until the 1970s. Over the following three decades, the Department of Energy invested roughly $137 million in direct gas research, in addition to federal tax credits for drillers that totaled $10 billion between 1980 and 2002.
As for most environmental hot topic similar to this, there is always a counter response against proposed beneficial claims. There are as many claims against fracking as there are benefits. Those against fracking claim that more methane is allowed to escape into the atmosphere. Methane has six times the energy trapping potential than CO2. They also claim that drinking water is being contaminated, earthquake activity is increasing and more CO2 is generated by the trucking and construction activities. Some towns and even states have banned, or are looking to ban, fracking activities. Other countries, such as Europe already have banned fracking, and deemed it unsafe for their environments.
Due to much rave about fracking the EPA launched a project to determine if fracking contributed