English 11 Honors
The Environmental Effects of Hydraulic Fracking
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be poisoned? That is what the earth
feels like when hydraulic fracking take place. Fracking is one of the most poisonous things for
the earth, especially when it takes place daily in different locations around the United States.
Hydraulic fracking should not be used by the United States Government because it causes
natural resources to be contaminated and ultimately decrease, these contaminants put humans at
higher risk of harm, and it creates a higher risk of natural disasters.
There is a decrease in water due to contamination supply that will ultimately lead to no
water. This is a major problem because water is one of the most important resources in the
world. The water supply in the U.S. is decreasing due to massive amounts of water being used
to take part in the fracking process. Millions of gallons a day are being used. An estimated 70
to 140 billion gallons of water was used Denver, Colorado (Fracking’s Environmental
Impacts: Water). This is only one oil fracking location, so imagine how much is being used
for all of the other oil bases in the country. If the water supply decreases, then the hope of
having efficient energy that was obtained by the wasting of millions of gallons of water will
ultimately be pointless. Would the U.S. rather have a supply of oil that be obtained from other
countries that might cost more to import, or would they rather have an abundant supply of
Water is occasionally brought to sewage to dispose of. This water then leaks into rivers
and drinking water and “contains radioactivity at levels higher than previously known, and far
higher than the level that federal regulators say is safe for these treatment plants to handle”
(Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers). If water contains high levels of
radioactivity, the remains will stay in it for many years. This is extremely dangerous for people
who may drink this water, or for the freshwater animals in the rivers. Because radioactivity was
discovered to be dangerous and is one of the most toxic substances in the world, It is interesting
that these levels of toxicity are not regulated by the federal government. If these levels increase
to an unhealthy level, then there will be a chance of contamination. Water is also contaminated
by the mixing of various chemicals to create a “fracking fluid” that is used in the process.
“Until recently, neither the federal nor state governments required drilling companies to
disclose the ingredients used in frack fluids. Some states have begun to require that companies
disclose the chemicals they use, but even in such cases, companies can withhold some chemical
names under trade secret exemptions” (Fracking’s Environmental Impacts: Water).
The fact that fracking companies are supposedly “regulated” but still feel the need to disclose