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Digging Into the Issues of Fracking

            In a consumer society such as ours, economic gain is at the top of our priority list. With that in mind, people are turning elsewhere to find a way to maximize profits when it comes to drilling for our precious fossil fuels. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, seems to be the answer to many people. Over the past few years, the business of fracking has grown so large that it is now a franchise of its own. The goal of fracking is to extract as much resources as they could possibly get. In order to do so, production wells are constructed on solid bedrock and drills with vertical and horizontal sections would proceed to drill thousands of feet below the surface to a rock layer. Afterwards, a water mixture is pumped at a high pressure to create fractures in the rock layer. The pressure from inside the earth would then cause the various resources to be pushed up to the surface. Some resources include natural gas, oil, and geothermal energy. This process has caused an increase in the production of natural gas, but is the economic gain worth the environmental costs? Just as the world isn't black and white, the issue on fracking has more than two sides to the issue.
             First, let's look at the benefits that fracking provides. Fracking, without a doubt, is a very profitable franchise right now. It has allowed people to access previously unreachable oil and natural gas in the earth. Terry Engelder, a professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University, states that the amount of gas recoverable from shale source rocks through the use of fracking is "almost equal to the conventional gas discovered in the United States over the past 150 years" ("Should Fracking Stop? 274). She goes on to say that through the use of fracking, 3 million barrels of oil could be produced a day by the year 2020. It has also made natural gas become incredibly cheap compared to before. Bruce McKenzie Everett, from an interview by Tufts Now, says that the price per thousand cubic feet was about $10 to $11 ten years ago.

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