The Case Against Fracking

By Commodity HQ  MAY 21, 2013 1:33 PM

Hydraulic fracturing is one of the fastest growing methods for tapping into shale reserves. Here are four of the major arguments against it.

 


Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” has become one of the fastest growing methods for tapping into abundant shale reserves held within the US. The process works by pumping fracturing fluids -- like slickwater, gel, or foam -- into a wellbore at a sufficient enough rate to fracture the rocks below. When these fractures occur, the operator injects proppants into the well to prevent the fractures from closing when the fluid pressure is reduced. And finally, oil and gas leak from the fractures into the well for extraction.

But the revolutionary process is not without its drawbacks, as many criticize the side effects caused from fracking. Below, we outline the case against fracking and why a number of people have rallied against this rapidly developing energy extraction method.

The Drawbacks of Fracking

The outrage against fracking has led to numerous protests and rallies and a documentary, and has even inspired a major motion picture in recent years. While there are a number of issues that the opposition points out, there are a select few that seem to be consistent across the board:
The Bottom Line

Much ado has been made about this controversial process, as it has already been banned in several European nations despite their abundance of natural resources. But while many will continue to fight fracking, it likely isn’t going anywhere. The opposition against oil drilling has been strong in the past decade as we witnessed the Deepwater Horizon Spill (not to mention the Exxon-Valdez fiasco in 1989). Still, big oil is not budging; there may be harsher regulations in place, but our economies are heavily dependent on the products produced.

The same may be true of fracking, as the resources it produces outweigh the costs in the minds of many. As the process picks up steam, there will likely come more regulations and red tape, but as a whole, it seems unlikely that fracking will be cooling down anytime soon.

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Editor's note: This article by Jared Cummans was originally published on Commodity HQ
No positions in stocks mentioned.