Fracking: The Good and the Bad

By Dylan Gansen

Fracking.  Even to those that support benefits that it provides, it is not exactly the most pleasant sounding word.  If you’re a fan of the TV series, Battlestar Galactica, you’re probably all too familiar with its use as a substitute for a similarly sounding curse word that is used in the English language.  Outside of a television series, what does “fracking” mean?  It is a controversial method used to extract natural gases from the ground.  Generally, it entails pumping high-pressure water mixed with sand and chemicals, including methane, deep into the ground and causing it to fracture.  The negative press around fracking involves reports of respiratory issues, sleep deprivation due to the mechanical noise, and a 40% increase in the likelihood for mothers to have premature babies due to the chemicals released from the process.  
fracking graphic

Ben Shapiro, conservative commentator for the The Daily Wire, argues that fracking is beneficial to the economy of communities that it takes place around. He says that as long as it doesn’t take place in near enough proximity to cause health risk, that is shouldn’t be outright banned. His news site even cites that communities saw a “7 percent increase in average income” and employment increasing by nearly 10 percent. Fracking is certainly in a grey area. The left is generally against its drawbacks in regard to the effects it has on health and the environment, while the right sees its potential for economic growth. There are potential methods to please both sides by regulating when and where fracking can take place so that it doesn’t pollute groundwater and air for nearby communities that rely on those resources.