What is Fracking?
Fracking is a mechanical and chemical means of opening fissures in rock to allow the escape of petroleum products such as oil and natural gas (methane). Fracking has been around for more than 150 years. The process used in fracking has evolved over those years to produce higher yields of product. The first commercial oil well was drilled in Pennsylvania by Edwin Drake in 1859. Since that first well was drilled different methods have been experimented with to increases the production rate of the wells. The methods used included injecting different liquids in the 1860’s. Explosives were even tried in order to fracture the rocks. In the 1930’s acid was used to etch or widen the crevasses in the rock. Modern day fracking began when the drilling company, Halliburton, patented a process called Hydraulic fracturing in 1949. That basic process has been used since then with some variation.
The process of fracking produces large quantities of toxic byproducts. If these byproducts aren’t processed correctly they can lead to environmental issues. Other forms of energy production, such as coal mining and nuclear power have their own environmental issues. Over all, natural gas production has far less environmental impact than traditional coal produced energy.
Richardson, J, Analyst at CohnReznick Think Energyhttp://energywithjr.quora.com/The-History-of-Fracking-A-Timeline
Stanford University, 2014
Environmental costs, health risks, and benefits of fracking examined.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140912112522.htm