Friday, 25 September 2015

What Is Fracking and Why Is It Controversial?

by Rory Gillies

Fracking is the name commonly given to hydraulic fracturing, an operation used to extract gas from the earth by pumping down water into cracks at high pressure. This releases the gas so that it can be extracted and brought to the surface.

Many people are against fracking, because it is a very new idea and is very likely to cause floods and unstable ground, due to the large amounts of water being pumped into the ground. Another problem about all the water is that transporting it all to the drilling site causes significant damage to the environment. People also worry that the chemicals used within the water will pollute the precious groundwater if it escapes. Fracking is also shown to cause earthquakes, as proved in Blackpool in 2011, when areas around a fracking station experienced earthquakes of magnitude 1.5 and 2.2 after a fracking operation had occurred. On the other hand some people believe that fracking is a good thing, because it allows drilling firms to access difficult to reach resources of gas and oil. It has been shown that in the US fracking has boosted domestic oil production and pushed down gas prices. It has also been estimated to give the US and Canada gas security for around 100 years. Fracking also presents an opportunity to generate electricity of half the CO2 emissions of coal.

In my opinion, fracking should not be allowed to take place, for it makes the ground unstable and pollutes groundwater, which would make the cost of tap water and drinking water get significantly larger. 

Fracking is also a very noisy operation and I would not like to always be listening to the sound of drilling. Earthquakes are also a major problem for me, for even small quakes could cause structural damage to nearby homes and residences. I believe that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages when it comes to fracking. This is why I am firmly against hydraulic fracturing.

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