How is hydrofracking effecting our community today?
Hydrofracking could possibly be the most effective way of extracting oil and natural gas from shale rock located underneath the surface, but is it capable of causing life-threating issues towards our community. Is hydrofracking a good and safe idea for our community or could be dangerous?
What is Hydrofracting?
Hydrofracting known as "Hydraulic Fracturing", is the process of combining large amounts of water with smaller amounts of chemicals and sand, which results in pumping under high pressure into drilled gas wells. Hydrofracking then creates small fractures located inside the rock. Once the pressure and water is removed, the remaining sand is used to create new fractures within the rock, which later helps the gas to have an easier access when entering the well.
How was Hydrofracting created?
Hydrofracting was discovered by the Standid Oil Company located in Kansas in the year of 1947. This specific company found a new technique when injecting a mixture of acid and oil into a well in order to simulate a production of oil. In the following year, a patent was created that allowed the Halliburton Oil Company to use fracturing by combining sand with the oil mixture. This resulted in fracturing wells to occur.
Pros/Cons of Hydrofracting-
- Hydrofracting has caused the price of natural gas to rapidly decrease compared to oil prices (the price of natural gas is half of what was one year ago)
- Hydrofracting has thrived in gas drilling and production, resulting in an abundant amount of jobs
- Can help prevent greenhouse gasses to cause climate change
- Natural production is known to be one of the cleanest burning fuels
- Is less expensive when distributing and consuming oil and gasses
- Is capable of releasing cancer causing chemicals
- Is currently risking water sources such as- Monongahela River, Ohio River, Elk River, Little Kanawha River, Sutton Lake, Summerville Lake, Tygart Lake, Bluestone Lake (fracturing drilling areas require a large amount of water)
- Is capable of causing earth quakes to occur
- People may become ill from drinking contaminated water
- Can cause declines in property values, increases in crimes, and losses in tourism and agriculture
Hydrofracting sites located in West Virginia-
Morgantown, Charleston, Kanawha County, Davis, Cross Lanes, Beckley, Clarksburg, Fairmont, Parkersburg, Huntington, Charles Town, Martinsburg, Mullens, Wheeling, Kenova, Mount Hope, Buckhannon, Glen Dale, Vienna
Groups fighting against fracking-
- Charleston- West Virginia Surface Owners' Rights Organization
- Sheperdstown- Sky Truth
- Union- Save the Watertable
Good or Bad?
There are numerous benefits hydofracking presents towards our community today. It provides an abundance of jobs and also requires a simple process unlike other techniques. People may find this process to be helpful for their community since it has caused the price of natural gas to decline and is considered to be the most accurate. However, there are several risks listed that can be deadly towards our water resources and even our health. Hydrofracting seems to be assisting our community but also weakening it. Hydrofracting is still unpredictable when determining if it will become better or worse, but it shows how ideas are advancing that will still continue to do so in the future.