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The Effects of Fracking on the Environment, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 305

Essay

Fracking, a recently developed method of gaining more non-renewable energy sources is labeled as “squeezing the rocks” by the UNEP Global Environment Service. There is, however, a public debate about the issue, and some advocacy groups emphasize the benefits of the new technology, while others warn about the dangers. The below review will carefully examine both arguments.

Unconventional gas reserves account for more than 40 percent of the total global reserve, according to the UNEP Global Environment Service. In America, this figure is even higher. People and advocacy groups that are campaigning for expanding fracking operations in America highlight the fact that this type of gas is cleaner than coal. Oil and gas prices can be reduced once the reserves hidden in rock formation are explored, and this could benefit the world economy. There is currently a target set by several countries to reduce coal use and switch to greener energy sources. Hydrological fracturing techniques could help countries hit their CO2 emission reduction targets. Countries depending on fossil fuel import could finally achieve their independence.

Opponents of fracking, however, argue that fracking could have negative environmental and health impacts, and injections and wells created could increase seismic activity, increasing the severity and frequency of earthquakes (UNEP Global Environment Service 7). Another issue brought up by opponents is water pollution, caused by fracking, while noise pollution and chemicals could also endanger public health. Finally, the technologies associated with fracking are extremely water-intensive ( UNEP Global Environment Service 8). While fracking uses less energy than oil wells building, compared with wind and solar energy, it uses a large amount of non-renewable energy. Considering the risks associated with exploiting unconventional energy sources, it is important that countries and international organizations create adequate regulations and safety guidelines.

UNEP Global Environment Service. “Gas fracking: can we safely squeeze the rocks?” 2012. Web. <http://www.unep.org/pdf/UNEP-GEAS_NOV_2012.pdf>

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