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.
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.
Current Energy situation
- America’s population is increasing each year
- Estimated 500 million by 2050, almost 40% increase
- Individual &nationwide energy use
- Oil prices increasing obviously unsustainable form of energy for America, devastating to economy (Heywood)
- Obvious that other methods must be put into immediate action
History of process (Manuel):
- First used 1947 (older technology)
- Modern technique in 1988 (Barnett Shale, Texas)
- Now used in Marcellus Shale on east coast
- Fractures in rock layer as result of pressurized fluid
- Vertically drilled 10,000 ft, horizontal wells
- After initial hole drilled, pipe w/small holes drill hole
- Fissures in rock created (during drilling)
- Combination of water, sand, and chemicals pressurized down drill hole with tremendous force (~89% Water, ~9% sand, 3% chemicals)
- Force of fluid pushes sand/ceramics deep into fissures as mixture opens small cracks
- Natural gas (methane) or oil flows out of the cracks and up to surface
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.
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)