What Everyone Ought to Know About the Practice of Fracking

What is seen as exciting news for economists is being seen as potentially devastating news for environmentalists. It has been found that Britain may have an enormous shale gas reserve, which could be a wonderful thing for the money that it could bring to the UK, but scientists warn that the effects to environmental wellness of actually accessing the gas could be catastrophic.

The problem with extracting shale gas is that the process of fracking, which harvests the gas, produces hydrochloric acid – and this eats through bones. Fracking involves drilling deep underground into the shale rock and injecting a high-pressure solution to create fractures in the rock and thus unleash all the natural gas. Unfortunately, this process involves toxic chemicals and carcinogens.

Whilst nobody objects to the rock itself being subjected to these substances, the worry is that these substances then start to pollute the nearby environment. Whilst some scientists argue that only a small amount of liquid is involved in the process and that 99% of this is water and sand, others argue that there is no way of knowing this for certain. In addition to this, a lot of the chemical is needed for each attempt at a ‘frack’ and you need to do a frack several times before the gas reserve is fully exploited. In other cases where fracking has been carried out, it has been discovered that the chemicals have gone into nearby groundwater – and methane, for example, was found in nearby drinking water when a frack was carried out.

A documentary called Gasland explored this phenomenon, where people were able to turn on their taps and set light to the water. In some other cases, gas bubbling up when underground fractures were carried out had caused huge explosions inside the basements of people’s houses. Thus, there are many social and environmental reasons to avoid carrying out the process of fracking, no matter how lucrative the harvest could be.


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