To Frack or not to Frack? - What are the FACTS about fracking?  

Expert Answers
literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process that modifies vertical drilling into horizontal drilling to create earth fractures or widen existing ones in deep shale into which a high pressure mixture of water and chmicals is injected in order to release trapped natural gas. 

Some facts about fracking are these:

  • New fractures are created by horizontal drilling. Fractures may destabilize surrounding earth formations.
  • Fractures may lead to contamination of underground water reservoirs through fracture destabilization.
  • Fracking uses vast amounts of water that are then trapped themselves, along with the chemicals in them, in deep shale.
  • Fracking needs to be accompanied by strict water testing of underground water reservoirs to identify contamination.
  • Following horizontal drilling, which can take up to a month to go one horizontal mile, the natural gas well is cemented to protect against leaks of the chemicalized fracking water.
  • Fracking produces toxic waste.
  • Fracking requires new infrasturcture to be built including land clearing, access roads, disposal routes and sites for toxic waste.

OPINIONS about fracking include the following.

Proponents of fracking state:

-Fracking is safe.

-Fracking will boost the economy.

-Fracking will help develop remote areas.

-Current laws do not ban the practice of fracking--it is completely legal.

Opponents of fracking state:

-Fracking using cancer causing chemicals to break through shale.

-Fracking poisons air and water.

-Fracking causes animal deaths.

-Fracking causes explosions.