Earth Week Excerpts: From “Hydrofracking,” by Yonsoo Kang

April 26, 2012

Hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as hydrofracking or fracking, is a method used to obtain natural gases and petroleum from the earth. Fracking has primarily been used to tap into oil or gas formations that are particularly hard to extract. Oil companies have readily adopted hydraulic fracturing because of its ability to access into deeper deposits. Hydraulic fracturing has revitalized old oil wells that were thought to have run dry and expanded the natural gas drilling industry in the United States. This expansion has helped the economy of local communities by providing capital and employment. On a larger scale, some people see that hydraulic fracturing will be the answer to American energy independence from foreign oil.
However, hydraulic fracturing does have negative impacts on the environment, which cause issues between mining companies and local communities. Fracking requires an enormous amount of water, uses hazardous chemicals in its process, and pollutes the water table. There are clear societal and economic benefits to advocate for hydraulic fracturing; nevertheless, the costs to the environment and to us outweigh the well-intended results. . . . Is fracking for natural gas the answer to American’s energy problems? Remember, people can live without natural gas, but they sure cannot live without water.

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