The EPA has formed an organization committed to researching the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing, and ultimately deciding if this form of retrieving oil can or cannot be safely used in the United States. By definition, hydraulic fracturing is the propagation of fractures in a rock layer by a pressurized fluid. The report will show any potential impacts of “fracking” on drinking water sources and landscape. People who support hydraulic fracturing point to the economic benefits from vast amounts of formerly inaccessible hydrocarbons that the process extracts. Opponents point to potential environmental impacts, including contamination of air quality, drinking water, and the migration of potentially harmful gasses into the environment.
The fact that the EPA has taken the reins on having the final say gives us a good feeling about the environment’s safety from unsafe fracking practices. Looking at this objectively, I can understand the need for oil in these times. I can also understand the want to retrieve oil from our own land. However, I do not believe that sacrificing the future of our land for immediate financial gain is a good strategy. In my opinion, that is “penny wise and pound foolish”. Our environment is one of our most valuable treasures, and it is to be kept unharmed for as long as possible. So if we must extract this petroleum, let’s do it in a way that does not harm our environment, and until we figure that out I think we should leave it alone.
What would you do in this situation if you had the say on hydraulic fracturing? Do you think we should go ahead and extract the petroleum now, or allow the EPA to take their time on a researched report?