Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing commonly known as fracking is a drilling method done in wells for natural gas that involves injecting a combination of chemicals, sand, water, and other materials into shale formations to break the rock and release gas trapped inside of it. This method is done for a domestic energy source that is cleaner and cheaper than its alternative, oil. In fracking; drilling goes vertically, then horizontally to reach the shale and release the gas that is also known as natural gas. An uncommon fact is that in the past fracking was extracted by going vertical, but not as far down to reach the shale formation.

My belief before doing research was that fracking was a new technique, although it goes as far back as 1940’s. The phenomenon of hydraulic fracturing should pertain to everyone as it’s an ever increasing technique, but fracking appeals to the capitalizing gas industry, potential residents, environmentalists’, and the government. I say that for I’m a prime example because now that fracking is taking place in San Benito county California I feel entitled to know more and to try and protect the environment I live in if it needs be. I don’t know enough about fracking, until I research all there is to know I won’t be able to take a stand on the matter. I have considered for my central issue to be the controversy of fracking and to find out if it’s bad or under regulation fracking could be beneficial.

This is such a hot topic now because there is mixed information about fracking and as curious beings we need those answers fulfilled. There have been reports of shale drilling leading to gas in the water, people being able to light their sink water on fire, families were getting sick, and a small earthquake took place in a case as well. The reports mentioned lead to regulation speculation of hydraulic fracturing. While some states are trying to boycott to ban fracking, New York’s mayor Andrew Cuomo banned fracking state wide last year. On the other hand there is good coming out of fracking such as, by being able to delve into the nations natural gas means that gas prices have gone down at local gas stations. Potential economic gains from fracking can be had if, the United States chooses to export excess natural gas obtained. Energy executives say that the technique is safe and efficient and is creating thousands of jobs.

The information I have gathered was from a proquest article, The New York Times, and a Harvard Magazine article from the internet as a reference. I find it to be credible information because their citations were clear, and at the bottom of each article there were links to what was discussed in the articles.

In hydraulic fracturing there are multiple sides including the gas industry, the government, citizens, environmentalists, and scientists. Also in hydraulic fracturing there are short term and long term pros and cons to consider as well amongst the big picture. Questions that come to mind are as follow; are there good aspects fracking has for the environment with conclusive and credible findings, other forms of alternatives to hydraulic fracturing (comparing it to renewable energy) or taking into consideration what the future of hydraulic fracturing has to offer.


One thought on “Hydraulic Fracturing

  1. I had never heard of fracking until I moved to San Francisco, then it seemed to be all that anyone was talking about. I feel like I have a better understanding of the process now, and I also wonder want this could mean for the environment. I mean if it really can cause earthquakes then I don’t know if it’s the best thing to be doing in CA., but we really should be thinking about the economic gain for the country.


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