Isues of Oil and Natural Gas

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Underneath Earth’s surface are many quantities of oil and natural gas. For more than 100 years, people have been drilling down to reach oil, gas and other minerals. Some of which are fossil fuels. These fossil fuels take millions of years to replenish and that’s why people started fracking, so we could get these resources in a hasty way. In 1949 fracking started to happen in America and several other countries caught on quickly. Fracking is the process of gathering gas by drilling down into the ground and putting high-pressure water, sand, and chemicals into the ground, hitting shale. Then when the shale cracks it releases gas which then is pushed up through the pipes from the rocks it broke to a well to be collected. Fracking recently has become a global issue since it has several negative and positive effects, such as water contamination and decreased gas prices, because of the controversy fracking is a topic that needs to be understood. Since Fracking is a global issue and is yet to be determined good or bad, here are the facts, so you can determine that for yourself.        

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So why are people Fracking? Why not just keep collecting oil and gas like they did hundreds of years ago through coal mining and machines? Fracking started because people were not able to find pockets of oil in between rocks in the Earth’s crust anymore, and the machines they had wouldn’t work for the process they later came up with. So as prices began to go up in America and some other countries, engineers raced to find a new way to collect oil and gas which formed the process called ‘Fracking’. (Dickmann, 6) The new process ‘Fracking’ was created to go into the shale in Earth to extract oil and gas by exerting high pressured water into the shale and sending it back up the machine to the surface to be collected. (Dickmann, 7) Also people don’t mine coal as much anymore because of their dependance on the old/new machines. For example, when the coal mining industry peaked in 1923 there were at least 863,000 coal miners in the US but as new machines started to do their job quicker or even for them, that number dropped to 50,000 as of late 2016. (Volcovici, 1)

Overall people have converted to these new machines because of fossil fuels becoming very limited and hard to find, but with the process of ‘Fracking’ people are able to extract oil and gas from the shale in the Earth and be a lot more efficient than old fashioned coal mining. People soon learned that there are consequences to our actions, that are good and bad. Engineers are trying to make solar and wind power cheaper and more widely useable. In the meantime, many people worldwide are using Fracking to help make existing oil/gas last longer. However many people are controversial about the use of fracking. People supporting Fracking say that Fracking creates jobs, helps support the economy by raising taxes, lower gas price, and the fact that the machine runs on natural gas, which burns more cleanly than coal and oil.(Dickmann, 24) People against Fracking say that Fracking uses too much water, the chemicals used in Fracking are hazardous and affect the environment, the wastewater caused from Fracking is hard to get rid of, and Fracking is taking away investment in cleaner power such as solar.(Dickmann, 25). In depth for the pro side, specifically how jobs are created from Fracking. 1.7 million jobs have been created by Fracking overall, and is predicted to reach up to 3.5 million in 2035 if Fracking continues.(Lydersen, 1)

Another example, specifically how Fracking lowers gas prices. Gas prices dropped by 58.5 percent($8.39-$3.47) in between years 2007-2012. This is because shale gas extraction methods are rising each year because of how much more efficient it is then the older extraction methods.(US Bureau of Labour Statistics, 2) Now, in depth for the con side, specifically how Fracking uses too much water. The Fracking process can use up to at least 250 billion gallons of water which creates roughly 210 billion gallons of wastewater which is normal pumped into the ground, rarely ever causing Earthquakes. As of 2014 Fracking was using slightly under 1% of America’s water source.

Another example is how Fracking is taking away investment from other cleaner power. As of today, investments towards wind and solar power are rising and the investment towards fracking is being lowered, but in 2013 investments towards Fracking was roughly 27% greater than the investment towards wind and solar power.(Grassley, 6) These are just a few of the many pros and cons on Fracking. The future will hold what will come out of these pros and cons based on people’s decisions. With so many pros and cons, how much time will it really take until something bad happens? Couldn’t just prevent them? How do we fix the territorial, economic, and governmental conflict about Fracking? Well there’s many ways this can happen we just need to put forth the effort. Starting with territorial, Fracking destroys the land around it by the contaminated waste water leaking into water lines and that it destroys the wells the machines get their water from. This can not necessarily be fixed but can be reduced. If engineers can figure out how to use less water in the process of Fracking it wouldn’t put as much strain on the wells and would reduce the risk of the contaminated water leaking into water lines.(Dickmann, 28) Fracking’s economic issue is pretty big right now, we are taking in a lot of profit from the machines, but the question is will it be worth everything being destroyed and having to be fixed around the machine for this to happen? This subject is very controversial, so the only way to fix it is to help keep up on repairs and figure out a way to keep the machine running without destroying other things. There has been one scientist that improved the chemical compound that is used in Fracking named Professor Kenneth C. Carroll.

He developed a new mixture that’s water based and has 1% of polyallylamine(A carbon based polymer) and is a lot more green based than the old compound used. Lastly, Fracking’s governmental issue is also very controversial but in a different way. Fracking became a political issue when the process started to go wrong in some ways, for example, causing possible small earthquakes or drying up a person’s private well on their property. Since the government is allowing fracking to continue while people are angry about these mistakes, it becomes a political issue. To fix this people could peacefully protest until the government decides to change laws on Fracking, maybe even how close they are to homes, or they could just deal with the problems since most of the problems are short term and benefiting our economy anyways.(Lubell, 1)

Out of these three conflicts, they can be fixed by large multi people actions, but if nobody stands up and does them society may be open to a harsh awakening. Fracking needs to have something changed in the future, weather its from using less water to helping fix the controversy between people on the subject, it needs to be done. An example of why something needs to be done about Fracking is the fact that in 2008, Texas Fracking machines were caught stealing water from New Mexico, some even from peoples private wells. This is violating people’s rights because it breaks the 4th amendment where it talks about privacy that every American should have. This makes it to where people’s private water wells owned by them are being stolen without any warranty or acceptance by the people/person. With Fracking having so many positive and negative issues it needs to be addressed.

These problems, such as water contamination and decreased gas prices, are both positive and negative but one will outweigh the other in the future. Fracking needs to be known because of its huge impact of the future.owning it. While another side states that these rights aren’t being taken away. They claim this because the Fracking companies end up hitting the same water source that’s also used for someones private well. So if the private well goes dry and the people owning it try to file lawsuit on the Fracking companies, it won’t work because the Fracking companies don’t know which water source is directly linked to someones private wells therefore making it legal.(Fehling, 1) With Fracking using up to 5-8 million gallons a year and using 0.6% of our water in America something needs to be done soon. Without help, this subject may go on as a problem for a long time.

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Isues Of Oil and Natural Gas. (2020, Mar 06). Retrieved January 31, 2023 , from
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