Why does Fracking Hurt
Hyder and Lerner from The Gale Encyclopedia of Science explains that,”Hydraulic fracturing is a process by which pressurized fluid increases the amount and degree of fractures in subsurface rock layers. Hydraulic fracturing may occur through natural geological processes, which can force petroleum and natural gas into reservoirs within the rock layers, trapping large amounts of petroleum or natural gas(). Hydraulic fracturing or also known as “fracking for short, is relatively newer technique to extract gas or oil. Introduced in 1947, fracking has been trending ever since in the United States since it can be done on U.S soil. This is significant based on the fact that imports can be avoided which can lead to the creating jobs in the industry and reducing the price of gas/oil.
While, fracking has its benefits, the cons outweigh them. There are many consequences to hydraulic fracturing. The environment takes an immense hit from this technique. The most notable repercussion are the small quakes occurring in the midwest of the USA. That is not normal. What is more concerning is are those families that live near a drilling site have had issues with their water supply, leading to health risks. In addition to the water the supply, the air quality is not up to par for those surrounding to the wells. Hydraulic fracturing is not worth the risk because it contaminates drinking water, creates small earthquakes, and is harmful to our health.
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How it works
There has been an emergence of earthquakes surrounding the areas that are using hydraulic fracturing. The process of drilling into the wells results in triggering an earthquake. Wigginton from Science explains that, “the number of earthquakes is increasing in regions with active unconventional oil and gas wells, where water pumped at high pressure breaks open rock containing natural gas, leaving behind wastewater in need of disposing(). The regions containing wells for fracking are increased for the chance of an earthquake to occur. This is concerning because there are towns located near those wells. With no telling when an earthquake could strike, people in those towns are in danger. The deep injection procedure of fracking into the rocks is what ultimately done to obtain the gas/oil. It is also ultimately causes an earthquake. According to Kerr from Science Mag, “seismologists have long recognized that deep injections can induce earthquakes.
The injection increases the fluid pressure along a fault that is already under stress, which can counteract the forces squeezing the fault together and make it more likely to rupture(). Deep injections causing earthquakes is not new information to the world of science. It makes sense why a deep injection in ground could cause an earthquake. Shooting down high pressured water to break open already sensitive rocks, it was only a matter of times when the faults would collapse, slide over each other and result in an earthquake. Oklahoma is one of the victim of earthquakes due to hydraulic fracturing. McGrath from Newsweek Global explains that, “The rate of earthquakes registering 3.0 or higher in the state had “increased from one and a half per year prior to 2008 to the current average of two and a half per day. For the first time, it also placed the blame on the oil and gas industry for “the majority of recent earthquakes” estimating the rate of quakes had spiked to “approximately 600 times the historical average().
Going from a one and a half 3.0 magnitude earthquake to the average of two and a half per day is quite astounding in such a small period of time. This is not natural occurring and obviously is manmade by the oil and gas industry, which includes hydraulic fracturing. We are responsible for this alarming rate of earthquakes happening in the state of Oklahoma. Fracking is nowhere being slowed down and there are no plans to stop this industry. The frequency of earthquakes will still continue at a high rate until there is something done.