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This has to fracking stop!

Amanda Martino

More stories from Amanda Martino

Prom Pressure?
June 4, 2018
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This has to fracking stop!

This picture is from Wikimedia
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Activists_protest_fracking_outside_Gov._Cuomo%27s_office,_New_York_(8071630634).jpg

This picture is from Wikimedia https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Activists_protest_fracking_outside_Gov._Cuomo%27s_office,_New_York_(8071630634).jpg

This picture is from Wikimedia https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Activists_protest_fracking_outside_Gov._Cuomo%27s_office,_New_York_(8071630634).jpg

This picture is from Wikimedia https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Activists_protest_fracking_outside_Gov._Cuomo%27s_office,_New_York_(8071630634).jpg

This isn’t the first time I have written about global warming in the paper, and it likely won’t be the last (sorry).  Such an issue is one that is often overlooked and treated as a problem for later. But when the future state of the earth and its inhabitants is on the line, it is more apparent that it is certainly an issue for now.  One issue that has been intensely contributing to climate change is a process of oil extraction called fracking.

Ever since the 1940’s, hydraulic fracturing, or, “fracking” has been a common method of extraction in American society. The process, often utilized by corporations, entails drilling into parts of rock with fluids in order to extract oil or gas and increase their flow in the underground.  These high-pressure fluids are drilled into the underground and force the natural gas and oil to flow faster; this method catalyzes the process of natural gas acquisition.  

Flowback, which is a fluid containing naturally-occurring materials and induced chemicals, is driven to the surface and stored in plants for later use.  These plants often leak and release fumes into the air in and around the area they are present in.  Members of communities being affected and environmentalists alike have been protesting against the process for years against these harmful contaminants and have plenty of people who disagree with the concept of fracking being unnecessary and unsustainable.

With the condition the environment has been in as of the past few decades, major environmental alterations such as this one that undoubtedly contribute to global warming are more important than ever. With fracking, comes a myriad of health risks, as well as environmental risks. Those who live in close proximity to fracking plants have reportedly gotten sick due to contaminated water and air; methane levels significantly increase in the environment when the fracking process is occurring in an area.  Said increase in methane from these fracking sites concurrently directly affects climate change, as methane is the main component of natural gas. Due to Donald Trump and his views on climate change, problems like fracking may be overlooked or even encouraged; therefore, it is important people are talking about it and educating one another for the sheer purpose of being aware of their surrounding environment and its vulnerability.

When asked his opinion on fracking, Mr. Destefano had strong opinions regarding the matter, as well as how it compares to other methods of acquiring fuel.  He states he is ‘completely and totally against it [and that] there has to be a better way for us to get energy, [and] there is.”  

Destefano mentions wind energy, solar energy, and even coal mining.  “There are other jobs that can be created without fracking, and we do still have coal mines where we don’t have to frack and some of those jobs can be saved there,” Destefano pointed out.  And although it can be argued that coal is equally as harmful to the environment as fracking, he adds that he “doesn’t think coal is the best, but [that] it’s certainly better than fracking because you’re not ripping stuff to shreds, there are mines that are already there” which is an undoubtedly logical opinion.

In response to the topic of fracking, Mac Cunniff ‘18 agrees that there are “other ways to get resources besides fracking;” yet, states his belief that “global warming is a naturally occurring thing [and] the rate is escalated by people,” which can be argued for or against.   

Along with all the other factors propelling climate change, hydraulic fracturing is but another.  Some will argue that fracking’s accomplishments such as increasing domestic oil production lowering gas prices surmount the damage it has done and is doing.  Such a resource of economic gain for energy companies is one that is causing more harm than good.

It crucial we spread the word about fracking before it turns into an even bigger problem than it is. The reason people don’t want to stop fracking is because it makes them money and provides jobs for many Americans, but at what cost? In the future, if we continue to move in the right direction towards renewable energy sources, there will be even more jobs opening up.  Sure, it will be a gradual and reasonably slow process, but it is worth preserving the earth for future generations.

Fracking should be banned, if not, severely limited.  The environmental risks are none to be overlooked and should be paid more attention to due to the state of our environment as of today.  If we continue to use non-renewable resources such as natural gas and oil to sustain our life today, there will be very little left for tomorrow, and we may find ourselves in an Easter Island type of situation.

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This has to fracking stop!