Opinion

Fracking wreaking havoc on environment, requires regulation

While many try their hardest to change our daily lives to slow the destruction of the environment, most people ignore one of the most environmentally disastrous practices facing the earth today: fracking. Fracking is not only devastating ecosystems but devastating communities along the way. Big companies want money, and with the almost nonexistent regulations on fracking, they can get it, even at the expense of the environment. We need to put an end to fracking before it has the chance to do further harm on the world.

According to the British Broadcasting Company, fracking is the process of drilling deep into the ground and breaking rock with a high pressure water mixture, which releases natural gas. Many companies around the world use fracking to reach oil and gas buried deep in the earth that would otherwise be unreachable. Additionally, fracking helps countries boost their economy by cultivating a large supply of oil and gas, but ultimately the environment pays the price.

According to Greenpeace, fracking has negative impacts on the Earth because of the sheer amount of water it requires. Fracking depletes the water supply in drilling areas by using two to 10 million gallons of water each time a well is fracked. This hurts the local environment and is especially detrimental in places like Texas, which is already dealing with a drought.

Additionally, Greenpeace said that the many companies don’t have regulations for the chemicals in their fracking fluid and, in many cases, the fluid can contain toxins that kills plants and animals and lead to cancer.

According to National Public Radio, fracking can also cause man-made earthquakes in places that don’t usually experience them. This happens when water is pumped into a fault line and the fault line slips. They also stated that many researchers have found conclusive links between the disposable wells and induced earthquakes. While these earthquakes are relatively small, they still cause damage to the stability of the earth and local ecosystems.

According to The Brookings Institution, a benefit to fracking is that it lowers prices of gas by providing an easier and quicker way to extract natural gas, which helps individual consumers spend less. Even so, the profits of fracking should not outweigh the extreme harm that it is causing to the environment. Public health and protecting our world should be more important than boosting the economy, and Ohio as well as the greater U.S. needs to rethink the continuation of fracking altogether.

It is vital that we stop fracking all together, or at the very least, place stringent laws and regulations on the practice. Fracking wastes immense amounts of fresh water and contributes to climate change even more through the use of fossil fuels and oil. These regulations need to limit certain toxic chemicals and the amount of water drawn from a certain area. Ending or limiting fracking gets us one step closer to fighting the extensive battle against climate change. The time is past due that companies are held accountable for their actions and the long term impact fracking continues to have.

Talia Kahan
Talia Kahan is a staff reporter for The Torch. She is a junior at Bexley High School, and this is her first year as a part of the Torch staff. She is also involved in theater and softball at the high school.