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Analysis of the Effects of Fracking in America

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The Dangers of Fracking

Numerous citizens of America have debated on whether hydraulic fracturing (fracking) should be supported or banned. Hydraulic fracturing is where chemicals are pumped underground to break through a rock and release the gases/oil. Fracking industries generate around 70 billion dollars from oil, part of which contributes to the government. However, is the revenue worth the damage caused? In recent months, fracking has been a very controversial topic. Countries such as Germany, France, Spain, Bulgaria and Romania have all banned fracking. Should the United States jump on the bandwagon? Hydraulic fracturing causes pollution, harms its surroundings and wastes resources and money. Fracking should be banned in every state across the United States to ensure the safety of its citizens and environment.

Fracking leads to pollution. Excluding fracking, pollution is already a huge environmental issue. Although some may refuse to believe it, fracking does affect the environment in numerous ways. Toxic chemicals including methane are released into the air during the process of hydraulic fracturing. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, methane has about twenty times more impact on climate change than carbon dioxide. Air pollution is unquestionably an important yet often ignored obstacle. Humans and animals are dependent upon the air quality. Pollution should be prevented in every way possible. Thus, fracking should be banned to lessen air pollution.

Furthermore, fracking disrupts the surrounding environment. First, space must be cleared to set up a fracking settlement. Numerous trees are cut down, forcing the animals living in the area to move to a different area. Also, animals cannot survive near fracking settlements due to pollution, chemicals in rivers, and a shortage of food since prey will have left the area. The wilderness is already decreasing at an alarming rate and fracking increases it. Professor M. Bamberger and R.E. Oswald from Cornell University have studied farm sites near fracking settlements. 60 cattle drank water from a creek that may have been infected from chemicals while 36 drank clean water. “Of the 60 cattle, 21 died and 16 failed to produce calves. Of the 36 cattle, no health problems were observed and only one cow failed to breed.” It’s very straightforward, many organisms are harmed by the fracking settlements.Most importantly, the safety of neighboring communities is at risk as well. The water quality is contaminated by the chemicals released from hydraulic fracturing. A Duke University study has shown that methane is 17 times higher in drinking wells within one kilometer of a fracking site than households further away. The safety of a community should come before the revenue earned from fracking.

Lastly, fracking wastes valuable resources such as water and money. According to the Ohio Environmental Council, one fracture would support one household for 51 years. The water used for fracking could be used for more valuable causes. Numerous children in Africa don’t have access to clean water while hydraulic fracturing not only wastes an enormous amount of water, but also contaminates more water. Hydraulic fracturing also costs a lot. The energy used to drill miles into the ground costs a lot. However, money is also spent cleaning water, curing health problems and saving the trees and animals. Without fracking, none of these problems would occur and numerous sums of money would be saved.

Hydraulic fracturing causes pollution, harms neighboring communities and wastes resources. Hopefully, the need for natural gas will decrease in the near future. The environment should be worth more than the money earned from natural gas. However, there are many actions one can take to help ban fracking. Supporting “Americans Against Fracking” and spreading the word about what hydraulic fracturing is will help immensely. Fracking should be banned to protect the delicate environment and save our planet. Thus, I believe fracking should be banned in the United States.

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