Student supports the use of hydraulic-fracturing
Read Shiyuan Wang’s column against hydraulic-fracturing here.
Fracking land for oil is certainly one of the most controversial issues that we hear about on an almost daily basis, but there are many energy-saving benefits that are overlooked by the public
and news outlets exaggerate many of the harms.
One of the many concerns surrounding the fracking business is the pollution of groundwater and the destruction of land. Some research has certainly shown environmental impacts, but many studies focus on individual instances and not the big picture.
According to energyfromshale.org, hydraulic fracturing is well-regulated by federal and state agencies. The technologies and processes continue to be improved, guided by industry standards developed from experiences in the field and which undergo rigorous review before adoption.
Additionally, studies by the Ground Water Protection Council and the Environmental Protection Agency have shown that current regulations are sufficiently effective, and there are numerous preventive measures in place to minimize any kind of environmental footprint.
Components of the process, such as backflow preventers and water recycling measures, ensure that minimal waste is produced. The waste that is generated is disposed of under the guidelines of the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Furthermore, a comprehensive study from Sept. 12, 2014, led by Stanford University investigated the costs and benefits of fracking and found that the amount of water used for extracting natural gas with hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling compares well with conventional energy sources. The amount of water saved with the energy produced from natural gas is twice that of conventional oil and gas drilling.
The same study also concluded that when natural gas replaces coal as a fuel for generating electricity, the benefits to air quality include lower carbon dioxide emissions than coal and almost none of the mercury, sulfur dioxide or ash that prove to be extremely harmful.
The process of fracking may not necessarily be ideal, but the long term benefits make fracking a viable short term solution to our energy problems until renewable technologies truly take hold.