Pros And Cons Of Hydraulic Fracking

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Hydraulic Fracking is a drilling method used to extract gas beneath shale formations located deep below the Earth’s surface. It has been practiced for more than 50 years, but it was not until the last decade it became an issue due to a new method of drilling horizontally. Before the last decade, the practice was to drill vertically through shale bedrock to obtain access to oil or gas. In the last 10 to 15 years to the practice of horizontal drilling for methane became popular due to the larger amount of gas that may be extracted. During drilling, the shale will splinter and allow gas to flow through the cracks allowing a larger extraction of methane gas. The gas then travels back through the pipe where it is captured and stored. Proponents of hydraulic fracking contend …show more content…
The industry has grown so quick, the ability to determine safety risks have fallen behind in comparison. Fracking on the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania caused health concerns over naturally occurring radio-active material, in the Earth’s crust, mixed with the waste water extracted during the drilling process. The waste water was temporarily stored on above ground ponds, and safety precautions were instituted to prevent leakage. Even though the safety precautions were implemented, not every risks can be 100% controlled. Radisav R. Vidic, a professor of civil and environmental engineering states “The only potential pathway is an accident, a spill, or a leak.” But, he adds, “That’s something that happens in every industry, so there’s nothing you can do” (qtd in Brown A54). David Brown, a public health toxicologist with the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project stated "We are troubled by people drinking water that [could potentially have] radium-226 in it. When somebody calls us and says 'is it safe to drink our water, ' the answer is 'I don't know’ " (qtd in Brown

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