Many experts believe alternative energy like the sun and wind will never to capable of supporting our energy need like natural gas or traditional fuels can. However, accessing traditional energy requires drilling and mining operations, which is usually accompanied by concerns about its long term effects on our health and the environment.
Fracking, slang from hydraulic fracturing, is another method of extracting oil and gas, specifically, used to extract natural gas from shale rock formations. The United States sits on one of the largest shale rock formations in the world. Marcellus shale sits underneath, Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, Maryland, and Ohio. Experts believe the Marcellus shale can provide natural gas to consumers for hundreds of years.
When it comes to fracking questions such as, should we be concerned about fracking polluting our water systems or causing earthquakes, are asked. To answer those concerns, consider Canada. Canada has been using fracking techniques for the last 35 years, estimating thousands of wells have used fracking techniques. In that time, there is no record of these activities except on occasion, due to poor operational execution.
Fracking is good for the economy not only because it provides an opportunity to energy independence, but also because it can increase land value and provide jobs. In order to understand the economic impact of fracking, take the Bakken area of North Dakota – The economy is booming, the unemployment rate is the lowest among all U.S. states, and the state budget has a surplus. North Dakota has more money to give to school and social services.
One fracking supporter said she considers herself an environmentalist and supports fracking for the following reasons:
- It can lead to our nation becoming energy independent
- It will provide an enormous boost to our state and local economies
- It has already driven down natural gas prices to the point where utilities are replacing dirty coal-fired power plants with cleaner natural gas-burning plans and increasingly vehicles are burning natural gas instead of dirtier gasoline
- It will provide many well-paying jobs to geologists, well drillers, office workers, truck drivers, construction workers, and many more.