Essay on Fracking: The Water Problem

1317 Words 6 Pages
Ever since the process of hydraulic fracturing—or fracking—made its entrance to the oil industry, issues and problems surrounding the process have become a common occurrence. Fracking is the controversial process of horizontal drilling (see fig. 1), where millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals are pumped deep into an oil well to extract natural gas from the earth’s crust (Ehrenberg 20). This practice has even been banned in some places (see fig. 1). The methane that comes out of the earth and the water used—called fracking fluid—has the potential to cause problems with local ground water supplies. Whether or not fracking is the cause of these problems, concern should be observed during the fracking process to reduce …show more content…
Although some possibilities seem more likely to happen than others, each should be fully investigated. These investigations have been conducted for a long time, especially after a 1987 report published by the Environmental Protection Agency (or EPA) which claimed that fracking fluids from a well contaminated a drinking water well nearly six hundred feet away (“Hydrofracking”). Another possible cause for alarm that shifts blame for water contamination towards fracking is the government. In 2011, a family in Pennsylvania came to an unprecedented settlement with a company actively fracking around their property that included “gag orders” on the children of the family, banning them from ever speaking about living near a fracking site. Later on, evidence was given that the fracking site was polluting an aquifer near the home. Additionally, after a man complained that his water was bubbling (from methane) in Fort Worth, the EPA issued an emergency order, but government action was never taken because the energy company involved threatened the agency, leaving the man who complained to pay a thousand dollars a month for clean water

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