Green Power Research

Interesting takes on the world of Green Power

Can Fracking be classified as just another reason to adopt alternative energy technologies?

by Tony - June 19th, 2016.
Filed under: Fracking, renewable energy, water pollution. Tagged as: , .

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Increased natural gas thanks to Fracking

Image of Fracking Well

Image of Fracking Well

Hydraulic Fracturing, commonly referred to as fracking allows the increased production of natural gas.  The process has been described as a method to reduce our carbon footprint in comparison to burning conventional fossil fuels since natural gases burn cleaner with less pollution causing by-products. But at what price?

 

The fracking process uses a fluid mix of water, sand and chemicals to release the natural gas locked within shale deposits. The technology allows access to oil in some cases but mostly natural gas which are unavailable with other extraction technologies.

 

The United States and Canada contain massive reserves of natural gas within its Shale deposits which could become a domestic alternative to reducing foreign dependency on oil.

Pollution of water supplies

Natural gas produced by fracking been known to pollute ground water and the air in the areas where wells have been installed.  The industry is not required to reveal the components of its fracking chemicals as the result of exception to the Clean Water Act the oil and gas industries received in 2005.

 

The “Halliburton Loophole” of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which is the exemption the natural gas industry from meeting the requirements of the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act as well as the Safety Water Drinking Act.

 

Amazingly only 40 % of chemicals used to extract the natural gas are recovered while the other 60 % goes into the soil and is introduced into the water table. In any case, the pollutants wind up in the groundwater supply. This is more of a threat to 25% of Americans who use wells as their source of potable water.

 

Fracking is very water intensive which will become problematic as water resources will become more and more stretched in the coming years. A large amount of the water used after the process is complete needs to be disposed of and shipped off for waste treatment processing. Furthermore, instances of health issues among the residents in places where fracking wells are used have been documented.

Alternative options to meet our energy requirements

In my view, would we all be better off to support technologies from renewable energy sources like wind and solar which are truly sustainable as alternatives to the meeting our energy requirements.