12 Sep 2022


Fracking: What is Fracking and How Does it Work?

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Fracking entails drilling down the earth surface using the high-pressure liquid which is directed at rocks containing gas and oil. The process allows for the release the pressure inside the rocks .water, chemicals and sand are injected into the rock to the rock causing the gas to flow out. However, the extraction has caused a lot of controversy among the American public since the extensive fracking has affected the energy sector prompting general health concerns. Ecologists claim that the chemicals used in the process such as carcinogenic may potentially leak and contaminate the underground water sources at the sites. Moreover, they see it as a distraction to the US government and energy firms from investing in safe and renewable energies. 

Reports have indicated that fracking has effects to people living near the sites that fracking takes place. For instance, in 2016, it was said that poor inhabitants in the Hispanic neighborhoods are left to endure the impact of fracturing wastewater problem from the Eagles Ford Shale in Texas. The disposal wells in southern Texas have been allowed by the government to operate in places with high numbers of people mostly the colored ones. This has been a challenge for the people who wish to protest the drilling, as no government institution is ready to listen to their grievances. Also, most of the people living in poverty are found in those locations. Furthermore, the research compared the amount of activities carried in white dominated areas to the other people. The result was that a few exercises were practiced in the white areas, unlike the black dominated areas. Hence, this raised the question of racism in the US with people blaming the government for even allowing the companies to mine in the regions (Clarey, 2013). 

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Still, there is inequality according to the report by students from the geography departments of the North Texas University recorded that elementary schools in the shale neighborhoods found in Tarrant and Denton counties whose population are middle –class earners, were situated near gas wells. Also, most of the places alongside their schools were found to be socially vulnerable to drilling .therefore, the children are prone to accidents due to the open mining holes which form after drilling. The findings highlighted the bitter fact that middle and low-income earners were discriminated against and are likely to be affected by the effects of franking. This shows that such people are not considered necessary in the drilling company’s greed to produce gas and oil. 

However, the Barnett Shale fracking company has created more than 100 hundred thousand job opportunities. Consequently, the company incurs costs for cleaning up toxic material like benzene and other radioactive substances. Though, environmentalists have been under pressure to initiate more cleanings. Due to state regulations, most of the fracking companies have been closed down causing massive loss of jobs. For example, a report by the Wall Street Journal indicated that many fracking companies in Texas were struggling financially ( Clough, & Bell, 2016). Further, the public shares of the companies have substantially decreased in the stock market. On the negative side, demonstrations against fracking have led to job losses and stalling of the drilling activities. 

Fracking has also caused air pollution does affect the health of people living in the surroundings. Research has proven that toxic gasses in the concentration of the atmosphere have increased since the inception of oil and drilling procedures. For example, the Ford fracking company has installed about five air monitors in its 20,000square mile piece of land. Further, most of the companies have been tasked with auditing their emissions without necessarily reporting to the state governments. This does it you notion is not good as it’s harmful to the health of individuals living in such areas who are economically underprivileged. 

Fracking also contaminates most of the underground water .residents in such areas have complained of water contamination sicknesses. Nonetheless, it shows that the water wells in the extraction sites have possible chemicals like selenium and arsenic gasses .a report by the EPA ordered immediate prevention of the water or risk closure (Showstack, 2012). Drilling the rocks may cause particles of the compounds to leak continuously affecting all the water sources in the surrounding areas. 

The reports by various articles and organizations have a valid agenda in trying to expose the effects it has on people. There is no environmental justice in the mining sites as the companies have affected the landscapes in the sites. This activity shows that most of the activities are carried out with the minority and poor people in America. The reports further illustrate how fracking is harmful to the health of the people, causes air and water pollution .the ecological systems have been tampered with. 


Fracking is a dangerous activity which has many negative impacts. The US government should ensure that areas, where the drilling takes place, are licensed and that no people should live in such places. The controversial nature of mining has resulted in awareness to people who may not have known of the general hazards. The mining companies have faced many lawsuits which have led to the companies improving the state in which they carry out drilling. 


Clarey, T. (2013). Oil, Fracking, and a Recent Global Flood: Acts & Facts , 42 (10), 14-15. 

Showstack, R. (2012). Induced seismicity from fracking and carbon storage is focus of study and hearing. Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union , 93 (27), 251-251 

Clough, E., & Bell, D. (2016). Just fracking: a distributive environmental justice analysis of unconventional gas development in Pennsylvania, USA: Environmental Research Letters , 11 (2), 025001. 

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