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In The News: Fracking affecting the world

Joined: 4/23/2013
Posts: 1
Fracking. I bet you have heard this word before; but do you know the underlying meaning? For instance, fracking acts as a shorthand version for hydraulic fracturing. The definition for hydraulic fracturing: the forcing open of fissures in subterranean rocks by introducing liquid at high pressure, to extract oil or gas. In other words, a machine pumps a mixture of water and chemicals into the ground in order to force out natural gas. Indeed this new method has impacted the economy in a good way, but the problem lies with the effect on the environment and our lives. So why should you care about this? Because you live on this planet and it is being destroyed more and more every day.
Let me explain to you the process of fracking. First, a machine drills a well vertically until the desired depth is reached. Then a pipe turns 90 degrees horizontally and continues for thousands of feet until it reaches the shale which contains the natural gas. Then, a mix of water, sand, and chemicals is pumped into the well at high pressure which creates fissures which the gas escapes through. The natural gas comes up and trucks take it to factories for refining. Then, they ship the wastewater to Michigan for storage.
This problem should be at the top of the priority list, and some leaders say that they will fight to stop fracking, but fracking companies do their best to “influence” the officials. There also have been a few films (the most descriptive being, “Gasland”) as well as countless articles and books about fracking, but the word does not get out.

“How does fracking affect the environment”, you may ask. As the definition tells us someone or something introduces liquid at high pressure. What do they mean by liquid? Water and numerous chemicals compose this liquid. There are around 3.5 million gallons of water as well as 80-300 tons of chemicals used per well. The water that is used then becomes toxic and has to be disposed of. More than 70% of the chemicals are not biodegradable and will remain in the ground. Still, how does this affect us? The companies do not reveal the chemicals used in fracking, but scientists have identified 65 of the chemicals as being hazardous to human health. By preventing one fracking well we save 3.5 million gallons of water which could be distributed to people in need. If all of the wells that we have in the U.S. today were prevented, we would have stopped the contamination of 122.5 trillion gallons of water.
Together we can stop this problem by protesting the Halliburton loophole (in 2005 natural gas was exempted from the safe drinking water act) and letting our leaders know that we want change. Our generation can change the way we obtain energy and we can save our planet. Let us hope, we can save it in time.

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