Monday, January 9, 2012

The "F" Word


There's a lot of controversy surrounding the process of fracturing rock for natural gas from underground deposits of shale. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are combined in a process used to break open shale rock, the rock then releases natural gas which is harvested for us to use. Drilling depths range between 10 and 13 thousand feet.

I'm no expert on the matter, but in using a little common sense I come to the conclusion that a weak fault line just might be vulnerable to some of this drilling. You'd think I announced the end of the world when I express my views to some family members and a few friends. They claim that it has no effect on earthquake activity, they say we've been doing it for years and everything is just fine, they say it's a natural resource right here in our own country and we need it.

They say my common sense approach has no merit. They don't seem to understand that "doing it for years" is but a fraction of a second on the geologic time scale. Our generation might not be affected by all the drilling, but what about future generations? What will they think if we continue to drill with no regard to what it might be doing to the environment?

(I watched a video here: http://www.energyfromshale.org/shale-extraction-process which makes the process look quite harmless. But other than the pleasing acoustic guitar and mandolin music in the background, I wasn't completely sold on the procedure.)