Fracking which is also referred to as the hydraulic fracturing is a process that is employed in the extraction of natural gas from the sedimentary rocks as the shale. The processes entail the drilling of a well horizontal seep into the underground rock and the consequent pumping in a mixture of water, sand as well as chemicals at high pressure. The subject of fracking as a means of harvesting natural gas have become an issue of much debate in light of the assessment of the pros as well as the cons associated with the extraction processes. The main issues relating to the assessment of the issue concern about the health and environmental attributes associated with the extraction (Gold, 2015). The benefits along with the clarification of the issues relating to the hydraulic fracking make it apparent that it is imperative that all the regions opposed to the idea of fracking adopt it fast.
Among the diverse benefits that account for the support fracking receives is the fact that the growing dependence of the natural gas instead of coal is one of the moves that are contributing to huge public health benefits. It follows that the burning of natural gas produces less harmful particles to the air than the case is with coal (Wilber, 2012). The attribute is in opposition to the opponents who contend that the use of natural gas is more destructive to the environment on that the production of the less harmful particles is a mode of protecting both the environment and the consequent public health.
It is additionally common knowledge that at the level of a power plant, the use of natural gas produces 44 to 50 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions compared to the burning of coal in such processes. The issue alone is a huge benefit; with the research by opponents claiming that methane is very harmful that uses a 20 year period. However, the assessment of a 100-year time horizon, the same method employed in the assessment of global warming potential reveals that methane is less harmful about the claims of the opponents (Wilber, 2012). In that case, it is evident the impact that methane has is potent but is relatively less compared to the impacts that are as a result of the increased carbon dioxide emissions.
The additional issue that the opponents have been using to oppose the adoption of fracking is that leads to the contamination of drinking water. The facts in this case encompass the fact that it is highly unlikely that the well-run drilling operations which encompass the extraction of gas and oil from thousands of feet in the ground are developing cracks that permit chemicals to reach the relatively shallow aquifers. The drinking water and the gas deposits are very dissimilar ground levels. Attention is paid during the drilling process by ensuring that the top 500-1000 feet are piped to ensure that the steel tubing, the casing do no leak as well as that the cement that is around it does not crack (Wilber, 2012). On the issues of the flammable water that the opponents are using, it is common knowledge that the flammable attribute a reality and thus is unlikely to be as a result of the leakage.
There have only been a few of major incidents across the numerous wells that have been dug. The process is still a new advancement, supporting the assertion that it is a learning process and getting better is not an option. Thus, it is clear that the technical issue of the integrity of the wells should not be a deal breaker, the benefits from the reliance on natural gas far out do the few concerns that the opponents have, mainly about the environmental conservation.
Gold, R. (2015). The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the world. Simon and Schuster
Wilber, T. (2012). Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale. Cornell University Press.