| General Information

Effects of the Popular Technique

Right now there are many areas of the world that are using the method of fracking to extract oil or natural gas. This has sparked several opinionated groups both on the supportive side and the opposing side of this method, but before we find out why, we need to understand exactly what fracking is.

What Is Fracking?

Fracking refers to hydraulic fracturing, which is the fracturing of rock by a pressurized liquid (usually water mixed with sand and chemicals). After the rock is fractured, oil or natural gas flows to the area and can then be extracted. This method has been used since the late 1940s, when the Standard Oil Company introduced it.

The Pros

Fracking has been booming in the U.S. and because so much natural gas has been extracted, carbon emissions have actually declined. This is because many have replaced coal burning (which emits a lot of carbon dioxide) with the burning of natural gas. The boom of natural gas also has reduced its price, so it’s more affordable for people.

Fracking also creates jobs and adds to our federal and state revenues, gross domestic product, and household income. It also reduces our dependency on foreign gas and can help boost local economies.

The Cons

While there are benefits to fracking, there are also negative effects. Many environmentalist groups are concerned about the liquid that is used to fracture the rock – it contains poisons that keep bacteria from clogging the pipes and acids to keep the pipes clean from excess cement. The liquid often escapes the underground and is released into the air, which could affect the health of those in the area.

Importing and exporting natural gas can be very dangerous, which means gas ports can become targets for terrorists. In addition, if fracking is not done correctly, it can contaminate water supplies.

What are your thoughts on fracking? Do you think it’s a great way to expand our natural gas supply, or too dangerous to be beneficial?