Discussion Summary: Hydraulic fracturing (brought to you by Group 4)
by naydenop on November 21, 2014 - 6:53pm
After an extensive discussion with our American counterparts, we discovered that our standpoints on fracking were more related than diverse. Common knowledge states that fracking may have severe impacts on public health (e.g. contamination of water supplies) and the environment (releasing methane into the atmosphere), but overall proves to be an effective technique in extracting previously unrecoverable fossil resources. In the past decade, there has been a decline in oil reservoir discoveries, resulting in a challenge when it comes to supplying the rapidly increasing energy demand. Therefore it is important to outline not only the disadvantages of fracking, but the benefits as well.
Fracking is fairly widespread in the United States, and more specifically in North America. The government has adopted hydraulic fracturing, as an approach to further developing their newly-implemented policy for self-sustainability. Moreover, fracking has shown to supply a large percentage of total US consumption.
However, according to our American colleagues, the public is predominantly against fracking. Concerns have risen, regarding its impacts on the atmosphere and the environment. Furthermore, there have been reports of water contamination in the New York region. As a result, later surveys concluded that 80% of NY residents are against fracking. These are the main causes of negative public opinion on the subject.
Despite the issues, fracking has a significant number of benefits including a positive effect on the economy, creating a large number of workplaces and providing a relatively cheap source of energy.
In the UK, opinions are mostly ambiguous on the subject, ranging from 40-60% against hydraulic fracturing. In conclusion, we found out that both our and the US group share the same opinion on fracking, which ,in a nutshell, is that hydraulic fracturing is violent and dangerous if not done properly. Nonetheless, fracking is necessary in a world with a rapidly growing need for energy.