America is going through an energy revolution with a controversial technique at its center, fracking. Fracking is the common name for a style of mining, short for hydraulic fracturing. It is uses chemically (sometimes radioactively) treated water and additives, along with explosives, to fracture the area around oil wells in order to pump out oil and gas in new regions or old. The oil is used for vehicles and the plastics industry while the gas of interest is natural gas, primarily used in the production of electricity. Roughly 1/3 of the natural gas collected is used for power generation and Florida is among the highest users of it.
What makes fracking so controversial is the environmental impact that has been attributed to it, whether falsely or rightly. The highlighted impacts include earthquakes and water pollution. In Oklahoma a new study from Science Magazine shows how the number of earthquakes has increased with the use of fracking in the region. It notes that the seismic activity has risen in correlation to the technique between 2008-2013. The water pollution relates to the waste water that remains in the ground and discarded after a fracking event. Regions post pictures and video of water that is able to be lit on fire in locations in and near fracking sites. There is also a potential to contaminate the within regional aquifers. Calling into question the obvious potential health ramifications. Sarah Younger, a supporter of Amendment 4, has provided information further outlining the implications based on the point of view of the Environmental Health Policy Institute.
There will continue to be a need for electricity no matter what the status of fracking. America will not allow itself to fall back to a caveman lifestyle. A better source of power is needed to remove the use of fracking. When tackling any bad habit it is best to replace it with a good habit. To eliminate the use of this technique, bad habit, the most effective replacement would be solar power. A home or business can have rooftop solar arrays installed that will produce power locally and in a decentralized manner to lower the demand on the utility infrastructure. Without the adoption of solar the power requirement would be filled by coal, a far dirtier fuel source and the other major power generation fuel. Nuclear could also emerge to a greater extent, however that brings meltdown potential as in the Fukashima plant in Japan, which continues to leak radiation. Solar is readily available cost effective and environmentally responsible as an alternative over fracking.
Advocating for the outright banning, de-licensing, institution of a moratorium, or any regulation must address the need for an alternative source of power generation. For an advocate to have a solar array on their home and business is a standing testimony of commitment to fight the technique of fracking. Through the adoption of solar energy fracking is avoided. To make the move toward the minimal impact on the environment for power generation along with banning or other opposition to fracking is the most prudent route to a sustainable future.
Go forth and spread sunshine,
Independent Energy Advisor
Clean Renewable Energy Worldwide