In recent years there has been great concern over the growing demand for energy, and the lack of non-renewable energy resources to meet the demand in the future. In addition, the question of “sustainability”—the ability to balance social, economic, and environmental needs in energy production to meet both current and long-term requirements—has come to the fore. It is clear that America must expand energy production quickly, and that we must develop renewable, sustainable energy sources to meet long-term demand and protect our future. There are many proposed solutions, such as wind and solar power. But the technology for these resources is not yet fully developed, making them, at best, low-output alternatives.
Because renewable sources are not yet fully developed, there are many who claim that a “bridge fuel” is needed to meet the world’s requirements while more sustainable energy sources are developed. One proposed option is shale gas produced through a process called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking. ” But this energy source is highly polarizing, with strong advocates and detractors. While there are many who believe hydraulic fracturing should not be used in the quest for natural resources, the process has a relatively low impact on the environment, and the shale gas that it produces has the potential to change the energy landscape for the better.
Contrary to what environmental activists say, hydraulic fracturing is an inherently safe process that is highly effective at producing the fuel the US needs to meet our growing energy demands. In addition, the process has the potential to benefit national and local economies for many years to come by enabling the US to become the leading producer and exporter of na. . Finance, Nov. 2011. Web.
9 May 2013. “The History of Fracking. ” frackingresource. org.
, n. d. Web. May 2013 The Royal Society and The Royal Academy of Engineering. Shale Gas Extraction in the UK: A Review of Hydraulic Fracturing. Royalsociety.
org. The Royal Society, June 2012. Web. 9 May 2013. Valk, Vincent.
“Shale Gas Benefits Seen in Multiple Specialties Sectors. ” Chemweek. com. Chemical Week, 1 Apr. 2013.
Web. 9 May 2013. Walter, S. “A Fracking Nuisance.
” Environmental Policy and Law. 42 (2012): 268-273. Print. Weber, Christopher L.
, and Christopher Calvin. “Life Cycle Carbon Footprint of Shale Gas: Review of Evidence and Implications. ” Environmental Science & Technology 46 (2012): 5688-5695. Web.
9 May 2013. Weinhold, Bob. “The Future Of Fracking. ” Environmental Health Perspectives 120.
7 (2012): A272-A279. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.