Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process of drilling into the ground, injecting a water mixture at high pressure, and extracting oil from the well. This process has been highly debated and attested by environmentalists for its association with earthquakes and overuse of water. Fracking has been introduced in areas around the United States. Places such as Midland, TX—an oil boomtown—have seen surges in oil production in the past few years thanks to the introduction of fracking. The process allows seemingly dried up oil wells to begin producing oil again, so cities such as Midland have been able to find a new life from fracking. But, scientists are still unsure about the long term costs of this intrusive practice.
And the possibility of fracking continues to expand. This week, fracking exploration was offered to firms in England. The licenses to begin fracking have been hotly debated in America and continue to cause issues across seas. Especially in a country that relies heavily on imported energy, England could benefit economically from fracking. The question remains, though, what is the environmental trade-off for the economic benefit? The world continues to run on fossil fuels, and although alternative energies are increasingly implemented, our reliance on oil and gas is not going to disappear anytime soon.
Contributor: Hannah Smith