‘Fracking’ has been presented frequently as an alternative to extract natural gas because it has considerable advantages. President Obama once addressed in public that ‘fracking’ would plunge the carbon footprint and stimulate the domestic economy. According to some statistics, it is estimated that in the U.S. carbon dioxide emission have been decreasing since 1994. Simultaneously, the employ of nuclear energy in France between 1980 and 1987 reduced CO2 emissions by 34 percent (Richard, 2004 cited in Bailey, 2015, p.219). In addition to a tremendous reduction in carbon emissions, the overall carbon footprint of natural gas extraction is also becoming smaller. Furthermore, the lure of ‘fracking’ has enabled the prosperity of manufacturing, for more than $80 billion investments, abundant projects and incremental energy-related jobs (Dilallo, 2014).
It appears many of the above advantages are exaggerated, so the disadvantages cannot be ignored. The first main disadvantages is that ‘fracking’ may lead to illness. Radioactive smoke, gas, methane, salty and polluted water are all released with the emission of natural gas. Subsequently, humans will have potential to become ill when exposed to the above stated contamination. Additionally, some critics pointed to the tap water was polluted by methane. To illustrate this, some of these critics suspected that the contamination was caused by enterpreneurial ‘fracking’. In fact, later it was shown in study by scientists Osborn and his fellow that the water, which contain high level of dissolved methane are within 1 km of the ‘fracking’ area (Dilallo, 2014). Moreover, local residents who are anxious about their heath had already migrated from ‘fracking’ site, which unveiled endlessly hazardous unhealthy outcomes ‘fracking’ may cause.
Turning to the issue of health, the next part is ‘fracking’ may introduce new and potentially dangerous environmental risks, including global warming and earthquake. ‘Fracking’ contributes to global warming because methane gas and carbon dioxide, which are included in greenhouse gases, are both released through extraction and could contribute to global climate change. Though natural gas burns more cleanly than oil and coal, it still accelerates the growth of global warming. On the other hand, the use of ‘fracking’ wrecks fabric rock, which may trigger small earthquakes. Though some of them were too weak to feel or cause no significant damage, there were eight locations had experienced earthquakes already (Brantley and Meyendorff, 2013). Whereas, there is no pledge that all of earthquakes taking place in the future will be of minor magnitude and low of frequency.
‘Fracking’ being a new technology is another area for consideration. ‘Fracking’ was invented in 1940 and was used for practical applications in 1970. In other words, it has only been in use merely for a few decades ago. From the comparison between the old and the new way to employ ‘fracking’, it could also be concluded that ‘fracking’ is an immature technology. The old way to gain gas was that firstly bored a gas reservoir from the top, followed by installing a pipe into the opening as well as sealing all the segments of a pipe to the surface. However, trying to reach more supplies of unavailable shale gas, the new way is using horizontal drilling to bore through the rock, which may lead to the non-stop effusion of gas (Thompsom, 2012). Therefore, compared with the original method, the new one is more doubtful. To summarize more general, ‘fracking’ is a risky technology, otherwise it is still in the development.
The debate of ‘fracking’ has been spreading worldwide, thus leading to a controversial topic whether it is appropriate. This essay has evaluated that ‘fracking’ is a two-sided technology, for stimulating finance and reducing carbon, which are the primary benefits of ‘fracking’. Nevertheless, it also makes people sick, accelerates global warming, causes earthquakes and has its self-imperfection. Furthermore, to summarize more specifically, the negative parts of ‘fracking’ may account for the heavy proportion in comparison with the merely positive parts. Consequently, in the future, the viable blueprint of ‘fracking’ is that it will perhaps be prohibited.
Bailey, S. (2015) Academic writing: A Handbook for International Students. New York: Routledge.
Brantley, S.L. and Meyendorff, A. (2013) ‘The Facts on Fracking’, The New York Times, 13 March [Online] Available at: : 10 October, 2017)
DiLallo, M. (2014) ‘3 Big Reasons You Should Love Fracking; Fracking is hated by some and loved by others. Here are three big reasons everyone should love it’ The Motley Fool, Feb 16 [Online] Available at: (Accessed: 13 October, 2017)
Thompson, H. (2012) ‘Fracking boom spurs environmental audit: as hydraulic fracturing unlocks new gas reserves, researchers struggle to understand its health implications’ Nature, 485(7400), May, p.556-7, Academic OneFile, EBSCOhost.[Online] Available at: . (Accessed: 17 October, 2017)