Is Fracking Dangerous?

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The quest for energy independence has led many nations to the conclusion that fracking is a genuine way to strive for this goal. Many people, on the other hand, have been raising the alarm on the potential dangers of this activity on the people in the communities that it affects and on the environment as a whole. That leaves one question, is fracking brine dangerous?

What Exactly Is Fracking?

The word fracking itself is built off of the word fracturing. When it is used in the oil and gas industry it refers to the process of geological fracturing that releases stored up oil and natural gas from the Earth’s crust. The oil industry uses a process where they inject high-pressure liquids into the crust of the earth. This pressure will build up until fractures in the crust of the Earth Which Already Exist Are Widened Which Will Release the Stored Oil and Gas.

The Potential Dangers of Fracking

While There Are Plenty of Oil Industry Experts Who Will Tell You That There Are Absolutely No Risks to This Process the Fact That the Matter Is That We Simply Do Not Know for Sure How Damaging This Process Is to Our Planet and Its Environment. There Are a Number of Risk Factors However That Have Been Clearly Identified As Being Linked with This Process of Geological Fracturing. Some of These Are More Likely to Occur Than Others and Some Are More Dangerous Than Others. Let’s Take a Look at Some of the Top Risks.

Earthquakes and Geological Activity

Of course one of the largest risks that are associated with pumping high-pressure liquid into the Earth’s crust is in its increased chance of geological activity such as earthquakes. This is due to the fact that fracking is breaking up the Earth’s crust which can cause instability that is released through earthquakes. There have been several earthquakes in the state of Oklahoma since they have developed their fracking industry. In 2016 the state passed legislation that limited this activity and ever since that time the rate of these earthquakes has been on the decline.

Quality of Air

oil and natural gas will release pollutants whenever they are combusted or drilled. These can include things such as methane and hydrogen sulfide from the oil wells themselves as well as nitrogen oxides from the combustion of these hydrocarbons. There is also dirt and dust that is thrown up into the atmosphere from the fracking process. This debris can be dangerous for the respiratory system. On top of all of this, the traffic that is going into the well sites to process these orders is also a large polluter which can release many toxic chemicals into the air. Overall it looks like fracking can cause a direct decrease in the air quality of the communities that it affects.

Quality of Water

The quality of water can also be affected which is incredibly worrisome because of how essential water is to life. The rate of oil spills is much higher utilizing fracking methods as opposed to conventional oil drilling. This is because they actually use water and chemicals at the site. Over 1/8 of all fractured oil wells end up spilling into the groundwater supply every year. The vast majority of these spills occur during the first three years of the oil well development. While the majority of the liquid that is spilled by the oil wells is mainly water there are still enough chemicals in these fluids to be dangerous and harmful to the communities that support them.

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