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Fracking is a very controversial topic of conversation that’s has been around for years, but has just recently reached the forefront of the environmental scene because of increase in its activity and added opposition against this controversial topic of retrieving natural gas. Fracking is defined as the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. This process seems very dangerous at first sight since the process of drilling deep into the ground and releasing natural gas from rocks in the ground does not sound environmentally safe and may harm our local water supply and poison us. Fracking works by huge horizontal pipes or “veins” being placed inside large vertical wells full of rocks filled with natural gas, after this the horizontal pipe is then filled with water and is forced into the well at high speeds and pressures forcing the rocks to be cracked or broken apart which thus releases the gas inside them into the tiny cracks created. Furthermore, the gas and oil is then collected and placed in large storage tanks for distribution and use. The chemicals used in fracking are a large amount (up to 600), however the main chemicals used by fracking companies are; water, sand, salt, citric acid, and benzene or lead.
These chemicals are noted to be particularly hazardous and dangerous if not used completely correctly which makes us question the complete safety of fracking fluid. The methane (natural gas) used in fracking is known as an alkane, which are group or series of hydrocarbons that release heat when burned. The methane collected in fracking is used to heat homes. Moreover, in a combustion reaction the reactants used are usually carbon or hydrogen, while the product is always carbon dioxide and water. These combustion reactions are dangerous and harmful to our environment since it releases harmful carbon dioxide into our atmosphere which harms our ozone layer and causes global warming, however when you burn methane or a shale gas the result is healthier and less harmful to our environment since the methane burns more cleanly and doesn’t release as much carbon dioxide into the air when burned.
Although many people are against fracking and despise the idea, there are some benefits to fracking, such as it serves as a cleaner, healthier, and a better alternative to oil and coal since it releases less carbon dioxide into the air when being burned. Also fracking lessens the weight and dependence that the U.S has on oil and coal from the middle east, since we can just frack and gain more natural gas from within our nation rather than having to buy and pay for tons and tons of expensive coal from the middle east when it isn’t necessary if we could just frack for free basically. Moreover, fracking opens up many job opportunities for people looking for jobs in fact, according to if fracking were unbanned in New York it would create and estimated 17,600 jobs and bring in 125 million dollars in tax revenue. This fact proves that fracking can immensely help our economy and create millions of jobs across the united states. However, for every good thing to come from fracking there is another bad thing to make up for it, the drawbacks of fracking include the fact that since most fracking occurs in rural areas such as farms, the whole process and the use of pipelines destroys basically all the crops on the farm and the equipment causes damage to the roads surrounding the fracking zone.
Furthermore, there has been a recent issue where people argue that the methane and natural gas released from fracking has been seeping into their drinking water since the fissures created from the fracking can travel long distances, also another drawback of fracking is the fact that there are huge amounts of waste water being produced as a result of fracking which need to be disposed of, ultimately this water ends up in waste water plants which then dispose of it by dumping it in the surface water, which could end up in our oceans, lakes, and rivers. Furthermore, the stakeholders in NYC who might be affected by fracking are the owners of any oil or coal companies who use NYC to make money and revenue, they could be affected because this new process of fracking can drive them out of business since it is far healthier, and cleaner than their process of using oil and coal which hurts the environment.
Finally, I believe that fracking based on my knowledge is relatively safe since it does not require human coal mining or working on oil rigs, which can be extremely dangerous ( just look at the BP spill in New Orleans which polluted the gulf of Mexico badly and drove away all animals and tourists) I believe that fracking is a viable option worth pursuing in New York because there really are no severe, life threatening drawbacks that endanger our health, even the claim that fracking leads to oil and natural gas being released into our drinking water cannot be completely proven true, since there is no factual evidence backing up this claim. Plus fracking would open up an insane amount of job opportunities in New York which would lower our unemployment rate and bring in more money since fracking will approximately make us 125 million dollars in tax revenue if unbanned in New York. Furthermore, fracking in New York will allows us as a state to be more self-reliant and sufficient since we can frack in state and create more cleaner natural gas, as oppose to relying on other states for dirty oil and coal which pollutes our air.
On the other hand, fracking can be seen as horrible choice to pursue in New York, since it requires extremely heavy, costly machinery to drill in the ground which can mess up roads and paths in our state which we heavily rely on for travel and transportation, also if there was to be a freak accident where the methane and natural gas were to be released into our water supply, the effects would be devastating especially if it reached Manhattan, where the population is upwards of a million which means a million sick people and contaminated water supply. All in all, I believe that fracking although it may be an unstable and at times dangerous form of energy, the benefits outweigh the risks and we as New Yorkers should embrace this new alternative energy source that is cleaner and better than coal and oil, because whether we like it.