fracking research paper - Pressler1 Chester Pressler Ms...

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Pressler1 Chester Pressler Ms. Emily Bartz English 104, Section 514 3 December 2015 Hydraulic Fracturing Argumentative Research Paper The growing demand for sources of energy has plagued the United States in the past few decades, and the declining availability of non-renewable resources raises many questions about the energy situation of the future. The topic of sustainability has come to the forefront of many energy conversations, as we have realized the importance of fulfilling this current and long-term need for energy. It is evident that the United States must develop methods for obtaining sustainable, renewable, and environmentally-friendly sources of energy to meet demands for the future. Countless methods of energy extraction have sprung up as lasting solutions such as solar and wind power, but the notion of these energies alone sustaining our entire country is very farfetched. While these technologies for renewable energy are being developed to a scale where they could sustain the entire country in the future, an interim solution must be created. A proposed solution that gets a lot of attention is hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as “fracking”. This method of collecting energy is extremely innovative, and attracts many supporters and opponents. Many opponents disagree with the use of hydraulic fracturing as a solution to our energy crisis, because of their misconceived premonitions of the process harming the environment. Contrary to what these people claim, the process takes a relatively small toll on the environment and is perfectly safe. In addition to its inherent benefits, fracking is also likely in helping the U.S. become the highest exporter of natural gas. In this paper, I will give an overview on the procedure of hydraulic fracturing. Next, I will acknowledge the opponent’s argument
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Pressler2 against fracking. By first addressing their concerns, I will bolster my own argument for the lasting use of shale gas. Finally, I will discuss my support for hydraulic fracturing by addressing the many benefits for our country and for our future. The extent to which hydraulic fracturing is used today could have only been made possible by the method of directional drilling. “The advances in directional drilling have made it possible to recover gas directly from low-permeability shale rock” (Konschnik). Companies start by drilling a hole into the Earth that goes to an average depth of 6200 feet. “Then, they turn ninety degrees and continue horizontally for several thousand feet into the shale believed to contain the trapped natural gas and oil” (Ruiz). Once this drilling process is complete, small holes are created in the horizontal part of the tunnel. The companies will then pump several million gallons of fracturing fluid down into the boreholes. 98 percent of this fluid is water, while the other two percent, which actually fractures the shale, is made of sand and chemicals. After 2-3 weeks, the natural gas is retrieved through the borehole and stored for later use. The fracturing fluid that remains is
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