Jiada Zhao, Reporter


The winter season is here, and what better way to warm up for it than to talk about hydraulic fracturing!  We’ll just call it hydrofracking. Hydrofracking is a process that involves the mixing of water with sand and various chemicals, and then injected them into wellbores at high pressures. However, this technique has since been modified to excavate an important all-natural gas, called shale, which could potentially be a major power source in America.  This means that America won’t have to import oil anymore (or as much). In addition, people won’t have to pay as much for fuel, it’s a win-win situation!

In recent years, shale gas has become more important than it ever was when it was first discovered in Fredonia, New York, in 1821. Back then, shale gas was overshadowed by other, easier to excavate fuels such as oil. Though shale gas has become an important energy source, the implications used to excavate it prove to be controversial, making people wonder if the excavation of shale gas should be continued and pursued. The first and foremost problem is that it is done by hydrofracking. Hydrofracking has inherent problems of running the risk of contaminating ground water, contaminating air quality, and the potential migration of gases and the chemicals used in hydrofracking to the surface. In theory, all factories must follow certain rules to prevent damage to the environment, but in reality, factories cut corners and barely follow the rules. Since hydrofracking is already a controversial technique, shale gas companies cutting corners is giving environmentalists even more reasons to stop the excavation of shale gas.  In actuality, shale gas companies have bought copious amounts of land.  People who lived near those lands have complained about environmental and health problems. For example, farmers who have sold parts of their land are worried about leakage in their pipes. Leakages have killed herds of cows, due to the leak contaminating the grass that the cattle were eating. Another major leakage was in a poor town; the water was contaminated and people started feeling sick. All these cases are a testament to shale gas companies cutting corners with their hydrofracking procedures.  Hydrofracking is a problematic procedure.

There are serious reasons why environmentalists shun and condemn the use of hydrofracking in general.  However, it is undeniable that excavating shale gas would be beneficial to America’s economy. It would reduce the price of buying energy in America, since the U.S. won’t have to import energy sources from other countries.  This could really help consumers with the price of oil increasing drastically over the past few years. Not only that, it would probably bring down your electric and gas bills too.

The Environmentalist Club is always trying to help the environment, and they take any and every chance to do it.  If you are interested in joining the Environmentalist Club, come to Room 456 on Wednesdays, period 9! We’ll be waiting for you there. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to put the heat on full blast and warm myself. Kidding…..