Fracking During The Industrial Revolution Essay example

763 Words Dec 14th, 2015 4 Pages
Ever since the industrial revolution, the world has been involved in a constant struggle. This everlasting debate between economic growth and environmental protection has come to light once again with the expansion of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. While fracking was first used in the 1940s, it has not been widespread until recently when it was joined with horizontal drilling (Hoffman, n.d., para. 1). It is a process used to acquire natural gas previously inaccessible with more traditional methods. However, these gains are made at some pretty significant costs. Economists and environmentalists often disagree with each other, and even others in their respective fields, as to what those costs really are. What are the real advantages and disadvantages of this method? Is it actually good for the economy, and is it actually bad for the environment? What other factors need to be considered as a part of this specific debate?
Hydraulic fracturing is a complicated process. With a traditional vertical well, energy companies would only be able to get the gas directly next to the well in some rocks. Fracking allows access to natural gas trapped in impermeable rocks such as shale. A fractured well starts in much the same way as a traditional one. The engineer drills straight down towards the target of bed rock and then turns the drill horizontally to make an L-shape deep under the surface. At that point, millions of gallons of fluid are forced through the well to fracture…

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