First off, take a few seconds and take quick glances at these photos.
What strikes you most when viewing these pictures?
Would you drink that dirty and contaminated water? I hope not.
Now how about the flaming water? How in the world does that happen?
And what are you thinking and feeling when you see that the fracking facility is close by to an elementary school?
This is my first content post and I start by posting about hydraulic fracturing, or better known to the public as fracking. As stated by the EPA, “hydraulic fracturing is a well stimulation process used to maximize the extraction of underground resources; including oil, natural gas, geothermal energy, and even water.”
According to these provided pictures, it doesn’t seem like fracking should be considered a sustainable technology. So why would I post about this? Is it or is it not a sustainable technology?
The answer is…well, there can be no correct answer! This is hard to say owing to the fact that the use of the hydraulic fracturing technique is one of the most controversial and debated issues in today’s society!
Why is the procedure so disputed among people? Well, the pictures above tell all that there is needed to be said! The pictures show of visual rhetoric, explaining the common saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” In the argument of environmental activists, they claim that fracking is detrimental to the people, the quality of water, and the environment. The three images strike the readers different emotions and feelings.
Any public issue, thought, idea, you name it comes with it two differing sides. Even a tomato sparks a small debate amongst friends. Is it a vegetable or a fruit? With fracking though, it becomes more complicated. Proponents believe fracking is safe and essential for our economy and job growth. While, opponents, on the other hand, refute that idea and argue that it is in fact not safe. They also believe that fracking contaminates drinking water and affects human health because the use of harmful chemicals.
I try to be neutral on this topic. As I have always thought that the environment is very important to consider in our everyday lives, I have to say I am sided more towards with the environmental activists. But I also have to agree with proponents in that the technique has opened to economic and job growth. While the unemployment rate in America is still high, energy production has contributed to economic growth: the Yale Graduates Energy Study Group calculated that in 2010 alone, the consumer surplus (the consumer savings or gain from reductions in price) from shale gas production was worth over $100 billion (View the pdf). The National Center for Policy Analysis says, “The abundance of natural gas also attracts business to the United States. For example, Royal Dutch Shell announced plans to build a $2 billion plant in Pennsylvania that would create 10,000 new construction jobs and thousands of other permanent jobs.”
In more recent terms, it is now the seventh day (as I’m writing this) as the government shutdown has affected citizens and government employees. How does the shutdown affect hydraulic fracturing? The EPA has stated that they would be conducting an in-depth analysis of the impacts of fracking. Now that several agencies and national attractions are closed, including the EPA, will analysis and the final report take longer to complete?
What do you think? Is the technique beneficial or harmful? Or maybe you can’t really take a side like me. Read more about the debate and comment your opinions down below.
Let’s all be careful and protect our earth. Let’s be eco-friendly! Join in on all the action with these engaging organizations: Take Part and be informed! This good site gives a great list of environmental organizations in NJ.