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Organic Chemistry and Energy

Environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing代写 Environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing:Hydraulic fracturing is worth the risk that might be foreseeable or perceived.

Hydraulic fracturing is worth the risk that might be foreseeable or perceived.

The development of fracturing technology is vested on the findings that the “costs are outweighed by the benefits, which total $1,200 to $1,900 per year for the average household” (Ekstrom). It is the most important energy discovery in the last half a century. The technology has resulted to increase in the U.S oil and natural gas that is are in high global demand. It has also reduced the prices of energy and increased energy security as well as reducing the air emission from oil and coal in electricity generation.

Natural gas is low in emission compared to coal and oil. This is not only good for the environment but also the American families because when prices are lower, then disposal income increases. Thus, lower emission is also good for better health of families when pollution is at minimal and hence stable climatic conditions.

Additionally, fracturing came with job creation and greater energy independence.  Hydraulic fracturing代写

The process has an economic benefit. According to Coulter and Doyle (2018), by the end of 2012, the oil and gas industry had supported more than 2.1 million jobs and was projected to employ more than 4 million by 2025. The trend is an indication of progressive industry growth in the future. Besides, fracking has reduced the overdependence of the country on other forms of energy such as oil and coal. They reported that 1.1 million fracturings for the last 60 years and have contributed to the production of more than 600 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Natural gas has surpassed coal and has become the largest fuel-source at nearly 32 percent. As a result, the households have saved on the cost of energy by $1,200 in 2012.

Furthermore, fracking has contributed to general economic growth through improvement in economic activities, increase employment, increase disposable income and house prices. Greenstone working for Forbes magazine reported that average families living in a community where fracking takes place the benefits exceed the costs. Indeed, he pointed out that, it is worth $2,000 per year living in such communities. The cost and benefits analysis was calculated based on the current knowledge about the health issues caused by fracturing. If communities living around fracturing are to change the understanding of its health impacts, this would likely alter the net benefits of allowing fracturing.

Notably, since the health impact of fracturing has been a factor of consideration.  Hydraulic fracturing代写

A report by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago was published to investigate the trade-off. The research found that babies born closer to fracturing plants were more likely to have poor health than those born far away from fracturing sites. The highest impact was found to babies born within the range of one kilometer from the sites. These babies were born with low birth weight and poor development. Similarly, babies born of mothers living near fracturing sites were negatively impacted than those living further than three kilometers away. These statistics were based on 1.1 million birth data collected for 9 years through Pennsylvania.

Hydraulic fracturing代写
Hydraulic fracturing代写

However, the big question remains of the contribution of other factors into low birth weight such as social-economic or behavior factors.

For instance, most mothers living near the sites are mainly not married at birth, and less educated which might be the cause (Welch). Nonetheless, the research may point out the link of low birth weight with fracturing due to health impacts. But most people get water from municipal sources which are close to fracking sites. Most importantly, the health impact of fracturing can be avoided by ensuring the safety of the site. The drilling techniques used are a safe and clean method of ensuring the underground water is not polluted.

The identifiable health hazard linked to fracturing is as a result of human errors or carelessness that fail to meet the government standard of control. Since the health impacts of fracturing are avoidable by adhering to set standards and controls, it makes fracturing safe and to have more benefits than perceived health costs.

Therefore, hydraulic fracturing does not pose a significant risk either to underground water and surface water sources.  Hydraulic fracturing代写

Though there are specific instances that fracturing and related activities have posed risk to underground water, wells and streams the assessment shows that these incidences are a tiny fraction of more than 25,000 fracturings drilled every year (Welch). Thomas Burke of the U.S. EPA through National Geographic stated that “We found that hydraulic fracturing processes are being carried out in a way that has not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water. The number of documented impacts is fairly low compared to the number of wells” (Welch).

The foreseeable risks can be controlled and are normal in any sector. Some of the vulnerabilities are well failures, poorly managed wastewater or chemical spillage which is manageable using industry regulations and standards. According to Burke, fracking is highly regulated by strong environmental stewardship by the states and industry-standard controls.

Overall, hydraulic fracturing benefits outweigh the costs.  Hydraulic fracturing代写

Using the cost-benefit analysis, the main cost is environmental degradation and health impacts. These costs can be mitigated using regulations and industry standards. The benefits include employment, reduction in emission, economic activities, energy security. Generally, fracturing does not pose a risk human and environment because the few incidences do not measure to the thousands of fracturing done in the country.

Work Cited  Hydraulic fracturing代写

Hydraulic fracturing代写
Hydraulic fracturing代写

Ekstrom, Vicki. Study Shows Hydraulic Fracturing Boosts Local Economies. Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. March 30, 2020, https://epic.uchicago.edu/news/study-shows-hydraulic-fracturing-boosts-local-economies-2/

Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. Hydraulic Fracturing Decreases Infant Health, Study Finds. Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. March 30, 2020, https://epic.uchicago.edu/news/hydraulic-fracturing-decreases-infant-health-study-finds/

Greenstone, Michael. Fracking Has Its Costs and Benefits — The Trick Is Balancing Them. Forbes. March 30, 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/ucenergy/2018/02/20/fracking-has-its-costs-and-benefits-the-trick-is-balancing-them/#737a354519b4

Welch, Craig. Fracking Pollutes Some Water, But Harm is Not Widespread, EPA Says. National Geographic. March 30, 2020, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/06/150604-fracking-EPA-water wells-oil-gas-hydrology-poison-toxic-drinking/

 

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