Natalia Nelson 6661318 Environmental Studies Section: Friday @ 2:00 with Jason Linn Fracking: The Invention of the Century or Destructive New Technology? Introduction: Possible quote – someone who supports the processs. Possible story: some analogy of something that was a good, necessary idea but just put off the inevitable and had a negative affect than fix it. Need for energy, how new ideas are necessary But is fracking really the best option? Public eye, people here about fracking a lot. But is it really a “QUOTE AGAIN”, or something completely different entirely?
Thesis: Hydraulic fracturing is not “the energy solution to the future” (Johnson). Through an in depth look at the current energy crisis, a detailed study of the processes used during fracking, and analysis of the possible health and environmental effects, it is clear that fracking is not a clean, safe way to retrieve energy. I. Current Energy situation: a. Statistics: (Heywood) i. America’s population is increasing each year ii. Estimated 500 million by 2050, almost 40% increase iii. Individual &nationwide energy use iv.
Oil prices increasing obviously unsustainable form of energy for America, devastating to economy (Heywood) v. Obvious that other methods must be put into immediate action II. Process: 1. History of process (Manuel) a. First used 1947 (older technology) b. Modern technique in 1988 (Barnett Shale, Texas) c. Now used in Marcellus Shale on east coast i. West Virginia, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania 2. Basic overview of process (Chemical Engineer) d. Fractures in rock layer as result of pressurized fluid e. Vertically drilled 10,000 ft, horizontal wells f.
After initial hole drilled, pipe w/small holes drill hole g. Fissures in rock created (during drilling) h. Combination of water, sand, and chemicals pressurized down drill hole with tremendous force (~89% Water, ~9% sand, 3% chemicals) i. Force of fluid pushes sand/ceramics deep into fissures as mixture opens small cracks j. Natural gas (methane) or oil flows out of the cracks and up to surface 3. Hydrocarbons 4. Methane gas III. Environmental Effects: (Fry) b. Legal issues: vi. 2005- Congress passed bill exempting companies using fracking from laws under Environmental Protection Act vii. aws violated include: Clean Air Act, Clean Water, Safe Drinking Water Act viii. Why would fracking need to be exempt from these laws unless it was unsafe? c. Drinking water contamination ix. Six states in 2006 documented contaminated drinking water as direct result of fracking x. Water out of taps dirty xi. Unsafe to drink xii. Fire out of faucet-alit “Today’s methods make gas drilling a filthy business. You know it’s bad when nearby residents can light the water coming out of their tap on fire” (Schweiger). d. Increase of small earthquakes iii. Cite specific example e. Chemicals in fluid: (Stevens) xiv. Include methanol, tetramethyl ammonium chloride, potassium hydroide, ammonium, ethylene glycol, ammonium persulfate xv. Or, more commonly: methane gas, ammonia, arsenic, chloromethane, iron, manganese, t-butyl alcohol, toluene. (Bradford County) xvi. Discuss individual effects of these (or maybe in health section) xvii. Some companies use of chemicals are regulated while others are not. f. methane gas air xviii. More difficult to breathe. g. ontaminated waste water left untreated by companies xix. can seep into gardens, home wells, poisoning water xx. April 2011 Towanda Pa. -seven families evacuated because of 10,000 gallons of contaminated wastewater IV. Health Effects (closely related to environmental effects): (Fry) -maybe even combine health/environmental and separate paragraphs for different issues h. Short term: rashes, headaches, dizziness, voiting, eye, nose and throat irritation i. Long term: Poisoning of tissues, Endocrine disruption syndromes, Higher risk of cancer j.
Direct evidence of: milk contamination, breeding problems, and cow mortality in agricultural areas surrounding fracking sites. (Manuel) Conclusion points: (no order, personal notes) People say fracking could replace oil from middle east, reduce cost of barrel if less use, gas prices down. Cost-benefit analysis Obviously controversial, need to do more research on fracking EPA promises 1. 9$ million for new study Actual cost of drilling in each location vs. production rates (look up) Mention social backlash (Gasland, Fox) Lead into other methods of green energy power (water, wind, solar, etc)