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Discussion Case: Hydraulic Fracturing

Discussion Case: Hydraulic Fracturing

Discussion Case: Hydraulic Fracturing—Can the Environmental Impacts Be Reduced?

Hydraulic fracturing—or fracking, as it is sometimes known—has been called the gold rush of the 21st century because so many companies and people are rushing to make their fortunes by extracting oil and natural gas from underground shale formations. What are the environmental impacts of fracking, and what can business, government, and society do to reduce them?In recent years, technology has evolved to make possible the economic extraction of crude oil and natural gas from vast underground shale formations. In hydraulic fracturing, a vertical well is drilled as deep as 7,000 feet before turning horizontally into the oil- or gas-bearing layer. Operators then pump in vast quantities of water, sand, and chemicals under high pressure to break up the shale and release hydrocarbons, which are then brought
back up the drill hole. By rotating the horizontal turns in successive passes, a single well can reach a large area underground.

Hydraulic fracturing grew rapidly in the United States in the first two decades of the century. In 2016, more than 1 million oil and gas wells were operating in 31 states. The biggest fracking booms were underway in several shale formations: the Baaken (North Dakota), Marcellus (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, Ohio, and Maryland),
Barnett (Texas), and Permian (western Texas and eastern New Mexico). (Excerpt). 

Read Hydraulic Fracturing—Can the Environmental Impacts Be Reduced?  (attached – pg 24). Answer the following questions:1. Using the classification system presented in this chapter, what type(s) of pollution is (are) generated by fracking?

2. Using the classification system presented in this chapter, what type(s) of government regulation has (have) been used to address the concerns you identified in question 1, and which do you think would be most effective?

3. What are the benefits to companies of moving beyond compliance and developing more sustainable methods of fracking?

4. What factors might influence a company to use more or less environmentally responsible methods of fracking?

Need 5-6 pages. The paper needs to be in APA format. Must include introduction and conclusion. Need minimum of 5-6 peer-reviewed citations.

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