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Rachel Lucine

Ms. Gardner

English 10H/4*

10 May 2017

Once You Frack, You Cant Go Back

Do you want your grandchildren to be able to live on earth? If we continue fracking at the

pace we are going now, we will destroy our planet and at this point we dont have a plan(et) B.

Fracking is the process of cracking open the ground to get underground oil and gas formations

with water, sand, and chemicals. We rely on gas for almost everything, yet our greed is killing

the environment. Although fracking provides economical security and makes the United States

more independent, this form of energy should not be legal because it is destroying our

environment by inducing earthquakes, contaminating the water and air, and affecting peoples

comfort and health.

Some people might believe that the risk we are taking isnt even that dangerous. They

believe that even if there is uncertainty it is worth it, because it brings economical security. Some

scientists say that fracking does not cause any widespread problems, and therefore it can be done

safely (To Help the Environment). However, research has proven that this is not a true

statement. Other articles admit that fracking has some concerns, like chemicals being released

into the groundwater surrounding the wells. They continue to deny that it is a problem by saying

it is just a few accidents because it has pushed the United States into the spot of number one

producer of gas and oil in the world (Editorial Board, USA Today). Overall, supporters of

fracking believe that there is not a big enough hazard to stop fracking and bring down America's
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production of gas and oil. Nevertheless, there is a risk and it is a huge one. Fracking should be

illegal and we need to find a safer way to produce energy.

Admittedly, fracking may support and help the United States economy. However, the

dangers it causes to the environment and the people that live near the fracking is not worth the

risk. One example of the problems it causes is that the fluid pressure in the pores of the earth and

fractures in the rock is built up due to fracking which can lead to earthquakes (Seismology

Society of America). This increase in earthquakes is causing damage to the earth and to the

people that live in close proximity to these earthquakes. Gail M. Atkinson, professor of

seismology at Western University, stated that because of this increase of earthquakes due to

fracking there needs to be recalculation of seismic hazard for the regions near the fracking wells.

This includes building codes, safety assessments, and critical infrastructure like dams and

bridges (qtd. In SSA). These earthquakes are not only damaging our earth, but also causing

problems for the people that live near fracking. These problems include people that could be hurt

during an earthquake or people that have to change their building codes because of the influx of

earthquakes. This escalation of earthquakes has only started recently in areas of high amounts of

fracking, and it is causing a lot of inconveniences. Overall, fracking is causing negative shifts in

our lives.

More research has revealed that fracking is damaging our water and air. To illustrate, the

risk of slickwater, a blend of water and chemicals to increase the viscosity, under the ground

or the risk of it migrating up through aquifers is great due to fracking (Mohsenin). Fracking also

causes problems in the air, as Bernie Sanders, a senator of Vermont, acknowledges that the

methane emissions caused by fracking is a huge problem for our atmosphere. Natural Resources
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Defense Council released a report on the hazards of fracking. They revealed that, In addition to

carbon pollution, fracking operations emit massive amounts of methane pollution, which drive

global climate change. Methane warms the climate at least 80 times more than an equal amount

of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period (Five Major Health Threats). This information proves

that fracking is not the solution for the United States gas and oil problem. The contamination

exposure that fracking takes is not worth the benefits of it. An example of these perils to our

groundwater is that:

This contamination at the development and production stages is extremely dangerous -

deep groundwater has a much higher salinity than shallow groundwater, which is fresh,

and the two do not mix naturally. In the process of drilling one must be aware of the

various aquifers present so the fresh groundwater does not become contaminated by the

deeper saline water. (Mohsenin)

Fracking risks the health of the populations that use the groundwater in the surrounding areas,

and even if people are careful accidents still happen. Some of the health impacts that are reported

are birth defects, cancer and nervous system impacts, respiratory problems, and blood disorders.

This raises concerns for the workers and families living closest to the wells (Five Major Health

Threats). All this research leads to the conclusion that fracking is damaging the entire

environment, including the ground, the air, and the groundwater.

Ultimately, fracking should not be legalized because it is harming the people near

fracking sites. These people are being disturbed in their homes and are having distractions forced

upon them, drilling rigs running all day and night create noise heard up to 4km away, and

Volatile Organic Compounds which contribute to smog can leave odors up to 600m from a
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fracking platform (Mohsenin). Can you imagine living with that? Not only does fracking cause

annoyances to the people that are settled in the area, but it causes damage to their health also.

Spills from mixing, storing, and pumping silkwater can poison citizens as it gets into the

groundwater and they ingest it (Mohsenin). A few moments of security for the United States is

not worth the safety of its citizens.

In conclusion, fracking should not be legal because it induces earthquakes, contaminates

our groundwater and atmosphere, and harms United States citizens. Research has proven time

and time again that fracking is detrimental to this planet. This is why we need to find another

solution for our gas and oil usage and we need to ban fracking. Call or write to your local senator

or congressmen and ask them to help us in the fight against fracking. Educate others on the

disadvantages of fracking, so that we can educate everyone. Dont stop at just reading this paper,

take it into your own hands and spread the word. Fracking is one of the ways that we are

damaging the earth everyday, and if we want to save our planet we need to come together and

halt the purging of all its natural resources. Banning fracking is just the beginning.
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Works Cited

Ava Mohsenin. "The Environmental and Social Impacts of Natural Gas Fracking." Forbes.

Forbes Magazine, 17 Apr.2017.https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/04/17/the-

environmental-and-social-impacts-of-natural-gas-fracking/#68ebea4e1a76

Editorial Board. Fracking, with Care, Brings Big Benefits: Our View. USA Today, Gannett

Satellite Information Network, 5 July 2015, www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/07/05/

fracking-oil-gas-hydraulic-fracturing-epa-editorials-debates/29120887/.

Five Major Health Threats from Fracking. NRDC, NRDC, 15 Dec. 2016,

www.nrdc.org/media/2014/141216. Accessed 9 May 2017

Sanders, Bernie. "Fracking Presents Profound Danger." USA TODAY, 19 Apr, 2016, pp. A.7,

SIRS Issues Researcher, https://sks.sirs.com.

Seismology Society of America. "Fracking Linked to most Induced Earthquakes in Western

Canada." UPI Space Daily, 02 Apr, 2016, pp. n/a, SIRS Issues Researcher,

http://sks.sirs.com.

"To Help the Environment and Economy, Keep on Fracking." USA TODAY, 19 Apr, 2016, pp.

A.7, SIRS Issues Researcher, https://sks.sirs.com.