The Controversy Surrounding Fracking

In the last decade, anti-fracking movements have sprouted up all over the world. From Great Britain, to the United States, to Asia, these protests have turned the world on its head. Celebrities like Mark Ruffalo have supported these movements, arguing that solar and wind power offer more sustainable sources of energy. Despite many experts agreeing with Ruffalo, lots of Americans still believe that fracking is necessary for the creation of jobs and is the key to a successful long-term energy plan. Who is right? Is there a scientific answer to this question? I am here to balance out its advantages and disadvantages to provide a clearer picture of what is happening in today’s world.

The+Controversy+Surrounding+Fracking

Fracking is quite simple. Wells are placed deep within Earth’s surface. Water is shot through these wells, releasing gas that is eventually collected by people. This gas is then used as a source of energy. 

The Science Behind It

In most cases, fracking is carried out from side to side, and this is known as horizontal drilling. When this process occurs, gas and oil can escape between new pathways. 

The water mixture that is pumped through the rock can have pressures of up to 9,000 pounds per square inch! This mixture is called slickwater. It is mostly just water, but other chemicals are usually added.

Once the gas and oil are extracted from earth’s crust, they are contained in reservoirs. They are then pumped back to the surface for distribution. 

What Do the Supporters of Fracking Argue? 

Fracking makes precious resources extractable that are impossible to obtain any other way. Defenders of fracking think these resources are necessary for the growth of the human population as a whole.

necessary for the growth of the human population”

People love money. Because fracking has created jobs and given people better lives, it is only natural that they would love fracking. It has exponentially boosted the American economy. Oil production is reaching all-time highs, and gas prices are lowering as well. Thousands of jobs have been created in the process. This newfound oil and gas is enough to last America and Canada for the next 100 years!

This next fact may come as a surprise to some people due to the misrepresentation of fracking in the mainstream media. I am not saying that fracking is the answer, but very few people have actually sat down and thought about its environmental benefits. It reduces carbon emissions compared to the use of coal. Also, some studies have shown that it does not directly cause pollution. If everyone that used coal switched to natural gas/oil, carbon emissions would be cut in half. This would make an astonishing change to the Earth. 

What Do the Oppositionists Have to Say About It?

Despite these advantages, the anti-fracking movement also has solid evidence to back its claims. Fracking uses immense amounts of water, and oppositionists view this as a waste. This is because a switch to renewable energy could redirect this water to places where it is needed more. The chemicals released by fracking also sometimes contaminate groundwater.

Adversaries warn of atmospheric pollution. People view fracking as a distraction from the fact that we need to switch to completely renewable energy sources. It doesn’t help that the pressure created from fracking causes earthquakes and tremors. Yikes!

Studies show that fracking can have health concerns as well. Babies born near fracking sites have been shown to weigh less than babies that aren’t. Also, the NRDS concluded that it can cause headaches, cardiac problems, and even cancer! This is a huge breakthrough that could change peoples’ opinions on this issue. However, some sources dispute this research and say there are other reasons for these issues. Either way, the possibility of this being a reality is scary, and renewable energy supporters have used these concerns to try and stop fracking for good. 

the possibility of this being a reality is scary”

What Should We Do About This?

This is a loaded question, and there is likely not a yes or no answer.

People tend to want a concrete remark when deciding if they support something or not. However, there so many benefits and downfalls of fracking. The choice to support or oppose it becomes personal.  Please take the pros and cons into consideration, and work to fight for what you believe in. 

Fracking will most likely be an ongoing issue. It is important that we have people that are open to the opinions of others and will listen to what they have to say. 

We know that the world is constantly changing. With new information coming out about fracking every day, we have to hope that people will adapt and make the right choices based on science.

make the right choices based on science”