HydrofrackingEssay - Dan Aiello Professor Lindner GEO 103...

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Dan Aiello GEO 103 Professor Lindner October 24 th , 2011 Hydrofracking; To End Pollution, or to Add Pollution? In today’s world, energy and energy sources are quickly becoming a central topics of discussion. Our resources, such natural oil are finite, but we are using them as if they are infinite. Countries are seeking alternative sources of energy, and in their efforts have discovered Hydrofracking. Hydrofracking harvests the natural gas that is contained in shale formations underground, yielding high amounts of energy that burns cleanly, thus making it environmentally friendly. Hydrofracking is currently being implemented in many parts of the US, from Pennsylvania to Wyoming, yet New York is taking precautions to avoid hydrofracking from starting. If New York is to become a new resource frontier for natural gas they want to make sure it is safe for the general public. If hydrofracking seems so promising and will help to decrease pollution, then why is New York resisting the movement? Is hydrofracking really the answer to a greener country? Chesapeake Energy is a company that is utilizing the fracking process to obtain natural gas for energy production. On Chesapeake’s webpage they state “At Chesapeake, we realize that how a great product is produced is just as important as the product itself. That's why safety, public health and protection of the environment are our top priorities across our operations” (“Chesapeake Energy “). While investigating their hyrdofracking procedures, they appear to use all of the precautions necessary to keep the environment clean, while carrying out this process efficiently. Chesapeake Energy starts out the process by drilling down into the earth towards a shale formation which contains the natural gas. They claim that this distance they drill is large enough to avoid any possible contamination of the ground water. When the drillers know they are close to hitting the shale, they install a new drill bit that allows the drill to drill horizontally
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into the bed of shale. During the drilling process, Chesapeake Energy adds seven different protective layers in the boring to protect seepage of the chemicals they are about to add in the next step to further ensure the claimed impossible pollution of ground water. They then perforate the shale formation, and pump chemicals into the boring to cause the perforations to fracture, causing a mass release of natural gas. Chesapeake Energy states that “Despite the fact that there is virtually no risk that the mixture can escape from the targeted zone, it is important to consistently ensure that our daily operations are as environmentally conscious as possible. Frack fluids are primarily composed of approximately 98% sand and water, but the mixture does contain a small amount of chemicals” (“Chesapeake Energy.”) When looking deeper into the company, it is easy to find some interesting articles about how they are not as environmentally friendly as they seem. “A natural gas company Chesapeake Energy has suspended "fracking" at
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HydrofrackingEssay - Dan Aiello Professor Lindner GEO 103...

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