The essay is targeted at the population that is currently supporting the controversial issue of hydraulic fracking passively even though they do not possess the knowledge that is appropriate in assessing the issue and the harmful effects that are caused by the process. It is imperative that these supporters of the processes realize that there are numerous issues that come as a result of the dependence on fracking in the generation of the energy gas as a source of energy (Bamberger & Oswald, 2012). Through the awareness of the issues that result from the fracking, it is possible to implement an honest assessment of the environmental damage that is being caused by the fracking.
The main question that guides this assessment is on whether natural gas is the only bridge fuel that is going to lead the world into a future that is characterized by renewable energy. Natural gas as a source of power burns more cleanly that oil and coal, with most of the supporters of fracking arguing that it serves as the best model of transition fuel that is going to ease the switch from oil and coal as sources of energy to the renewable energy as solar, wind and hydropower. The oil and gas industry does not serve to inspire huge levels of public confidence, with the attention being on the issues relating to the chief incidences as deepwater horizon blowouts which resulted in the loss of many lives (Colborn, Kwiatkowski, Schultz &Bachran, 2012). There additionally have been huge cases of environmental damage, with the deep wells as well as high pressure involved in fracking placing a lot of strain on the engineering and thus increasing the risks of disasters happening.
The available evidence supports the assertion that the fracking methods that are currently being employed have a huge likelihood of causing natural gas contamination of the surface water as well as residential wells that are near the drilling sites. There is the growing evidence of residents who live near the fracking sites noticing issues with the presence of methane and natural gas in their residential water systems (Howarth et al., 2011). The best examples of the contamination are the individual video evidence that their gas can be lit on fire as a result of the presence of the high concentrations of natural gas in their water.
Other than the issue of the natural gas contamination of the water sources, there is the contamination of water with the diverse chemicals that is accredited to the treatment “flow back” which encompasses the water that has been extracted from the fracking well following the fracking process. The flow back is made of an assortment of chemicals that are used in making the fracking process a success, although some of these chemicals are harmful to human health (Howarth et al., 2011). About the issue of air pollution, it is evident that methane which is the chief component of the natural gas is 25 times more potent in the trapping of heat in the atmosphere than the case is for carbon dioxide. Studies by NOAA reveal that there is an estimated 4% escape for the methane that is produced by the wells in Colorado (Howarth et al., 2011).
There are numerous health hazards that are as a result of the fracking process, with the health impacts being related to the chemicals that are used in the drilling, fracking, processing as well as delivery of the natural gas. Studies reveal that 75% of the chemicals that are released from the fracking could affect the eyes, skin along with the other sensory organs and respiratory and gastrointestinal systems (Bamberger & Oswald, 2012).
From the above assessment, is clear that although proponents of fracking assert of the benefits of the natural gas, it is evident that there are numerous environmental, legislation as well as health issues that support the stoppage as the demerits outweigh the gains.
Bamberger, M., Oswald, R. (2012).Impacts of Gas Drilling on Animal and Human Health. New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health, 22(1): 51-77.
Colborn T, Kwiatkowski C, Schultz K, Bachran M. 2012.Natural Gas Operations from a Public Health Perspective,Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: an International Journal 17(5):1039-1056.
Howarth RW et al (2011). Methane and greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations. Climatic Change Letters. DOI 10.1007/s10584-011-0061-5