In 2006 a daughter was forced to move away from home because she became gravely ill after drinking water that was contaminated by a nearby fracking site.
She had a fever, severe pain in her abdomen, and lost ten pounds in just seven days (Carol). Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” is the drilling of Earth’s surface for the purpose of extracting natural gases and oil. This procedure commonly involves injecting a combination of pressurized water, sand, and chemicals into the ground.
As a result, fissures are created in the terrain and trapped fossil fuels are released. While fracking may provide more jobs for people, it should be illegal because of its horrible impact on human and environmental health and global warming. There are many indications as to how fracking negatively affects human health.
A 2014 study discovered that children who lived in Colorado within ten miles of a gas well had a thirty percent higher risk of heart disease (Fracking, Gale 2017). In addition, the same children had two times more chance of neural, or nervous system, defects as opposed to children who lived farther away from a gas well (Fracking, Gale 2017). Another study found that workers at nearly half of one hundred and sixteen fracking sites were vulnerable to levels of airborne silica that were above federal restrictions (Fracking, Gale 2017). Fossil fuel industry experts firmly state that fracking is safe and that sufficient safeguards are in place to protect the public health and the environment (Freeman).
However, an inspection of fracking operations in Ohio found a minimum of sixty-three cases of improper construction or maintenance, leading to nearby soil and water contamination (Fracking, Gale 2017). Not only does fracking have an unacceptable impact on the public’s health, but it is also extremely dangerous to the environment’s health. Fracking commonly requires leveling and clearing around five acres of land in order to make room for the drilling equipment, access roads, and storage facilities (Fracking, Gale 2017). This can mean turning forests into industrial zones and ruining ecosystems. Another 2014 study observed that ten percent of the chemicals used during the fracking process are lethal to wildlife and fish (Fracking, Gale 2017). Often when this issue is brought up to fracking supporters, they tend to claim that water contamination is highly unlikely during fracking (Freeman). While this may be what they think, wastewater from fracking, which is commonly stored on-site, can seep chemicals into the groundwater and pollute it (Fracking, Gale 2017).
Furthermore, fracking can lead to worsening global warming. During fracking projects, methane is released both intentionally and unintentionally (Allstadt). Methane is a very strong greenhouse gas that commonly contributes to climate change. Supporters of fracking frequently bring up the fact that it releases less carbon dioxide than coal (Davenport). Contrary to this claim, it releases greater amounts of methane, which is much more dangerous than carbon dioxide (Allstadt).
Moreover, some fracking valves have been found to release thirty percent higher levels of methane than the regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency (Fracking, Gale 2017). Many people argue that fracking provides more jobs for Americans. However, companies could potentially provide more jobs by training the same people in working on renewable energy.
Some examples of renewable energy include: wind power, solar power, and tidal power. These energy sources are more environmentally friendly and provide jobs for Americans. Due to these reasons, fracking should be illegal for its unhealthy impact on the world.