10 Chief Pros and Cons of Hydraulic Fracturing

There is an issue these days that surrounds a recent method of extracting oil and gas, which involves drilling deep down of the crust of the Earth. The term is referred to as hydraulic fracturing. Accordingly, this method will extract deposits of oil and shale gas by injecting pressurized water into the rock containing the said resources. This can mix with chemicals and sand wherein causing the breakage of the rocks.

Rock fissures or breaks are held open together with the added chemicals and sand. Such fissures will enable oil and gas to escape to the surface and will be cautiously collected and stored. It will then be processed and allowed to be delivered in order to cook food and heat homes.

The problem with this type of process is that it will give access to fossil fuel deposits. Thus, certain environmental problems may arise with it. Although there are no clear explanation regarding its full impact, here are a few pros and cons of hydraulic fracturing to get started.

List of Pros of Hydraulic Fracturing

1. Gain Access to More Oil and Gas.
It is said that traditional extraction can only do so much when extracting oil and gas. Beyond this can be done by hydraulic fracturing that can be extracted from rocks containing the said elements. This can provide a better way to access many other natural deposits of oil and gas than it was done before. This means that more oil and gas can be used for heating, cooking and powering cars. Fossil fuels can now be extracted successfully just in time to seek out alternatives when oil, gas or coal will run out.

2. Ability to Lower Taxes.
One of the positive impact of this method is the reduced taxes on oil and gas. For instance, it will be a lot easier to access petroleum to power up cars or gas to cook food, wherein consumers will be able to acquire these resources in a cheaper and more affordable way.

3. Provides Better Air Quality.
Due to the chemicals released to the environment, fossil fuels have been considered unfavorable for the environment. This is particularly true when it comes to burning coal. However, burning more gas will emit lesser carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. For this reason, it is affirmative that gas is a lot cleaner than fossil fuel. So if more people begin to utilize gas, air quality will eventually improve.

4. Reduced Dependence on Imported Oil.
The use of hydraulic fracturing will help countries to seek better domestic sources of oil. So as the population increase continuously, it will only be sensible to look for alternative oil and gas sources at home. This is even a lot better than being dependent on foreign countries to respond to the local demands.

5. Promote Local Employment.
The industry that promote hydraulic fracturing will be able to generate thousands of work opportunities for local labor. In fact, it has already generated just recently, this will probably increase when it begins to flourish in the near future.

List of Cons of Hydraulic Fracturing

1. Little Focus on Renewable Energy.
Once the country begins to rely on fossil fuel on a long-term basis, research about renewable energy sources will eventually stop. The moment the country realized that fossil fuel was running out, research began to look for alternative energy sources including hydro power, solar energy, and wind energy. However, due to the new technology of extracting oil and gas, there is no essential need to seek alternative energy sources.

2. Water Pollution Problems.
The new method of extracting oil and gas will enable people to use more gas for their energy needs. Thus, it will provide cleaner environment compared to the use of fossil fuel. However, this method can actually lead to more pollution because it uses much water which reaches as much as a hundred times compared to traditional ways of drilling out oil and gas deposits. As a result, it will lead to the decrease in water supply.

Likewise, areas within the hydraulic fracturing is being performed will increase the chances of water pollution. This is due to the fact that water used in this method will be collected through the reservoirs of the earth, such as seas and other related bodies or water. Eventually, the chemicals mixed with these waters will be deposited and will cause harm to the ecosystem.

3. Droughts May Increase.
In areas pursuing oil and gas, hydraulic fracturing can use up most of the water in the area increasing the possibility of droughts. Although a huge amount of people are already suffering with droughts all over the country, it is confusing why huge energy industries are still allowed to do this.

4. Possible Noise Pollution in the Area.
Aside from natural pollution on water and droughts, there is also another issue on noise pollution that arise in such areas. This is because this process produces very loud noises that goes on and on. So people living in these areas are very much bothered due to the noise that never seem to cease throughout the night and day.

5. Spread of Toxins Will Be Increased.
Hydraulic fracturing companies are not yet open to disclose the type of chemicals they are using to perform their method of extracting oil and gas from rocks. The only known fact is that they apply pressure on water to acquire the said resources. However, it has been mixed with some sort of chemicals not yet known to the public.

People leaving in these areas are not yet certain how to protect themselves about possible toxins that can be acquired with this process. In fact, scientists are also uncertain about the problems that might happen with the use of chemicals as they are not sure what they are dealing with.

Final Thoughts

Citizens are not yet certain how they are going to react to hydraulic fracturing. Despite the fact that it has become a modern way of acquiring oil and gas, it still has some undetermined impact in return. Perhaps pondering on the pros and cons stated here should enlighten those who are still a little bit confused about how this new technology will affect everything on this planet.

About the Author
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.