Fracking ~ Environmental Issues

Fracking has been in the news lately, and never in a positive light. What is fracking and why is it so controversial?

What Is Fracking

Fracking is the process of getting natural gas and/or oil out of layers of shale rock that are hundreds or thousands of feet below ground. Fractures in the rock layers are caused by pressurized fluids, and once fissures, veins, and dikes are created, gas and/or oil can be extracted.

Fracking has gained in popularity in recent years because of advancements in technology, most notably improved hydraulic drilling equipment and 3D imaging that helps pinpoint locations for drilling.

Backers of fracking herald it as a cost-effective, safe way to tap into massive amounts of fossil fuels located underneath U.S. soil, and therefore decrease dependency on foreign oil.

However, there’s increasing concern about fracking, most notably in urban areas, where fracking sites are often located close to residential properties.

What Causes Fracking Environmental Issues / Environmental Issues With Fracking

Environmental concerns with fracking include:
•leaks that could contaminate groundwater supplies
air pollution
•gases and fracturing chemicals coming to the surface
•spills and backflow coming to the surface

Facts About Fracking

Here are facts about fracking and environmental issues:
•Fracking has been around since 1947, but became more widespread in the late 1990s.
•The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is preparing a comprehensive report on fracking that is due by the end of 2012.
•Approximately 3 to 5 million gallons of fluid per well are used for fracking, 98% of which is water, and 2% of which is chemicals.