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Fracking: Questions Still Unanswered

Updated on August 15, 2014

The race for American energy independence is an arduous task. Yet, even in the face of this adversity, the health and safety of the population, in addition to the potential damage to the environment, must be fully addressed. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, has yet to be proven as a safe form of resource extraction. Due to the questions on safety for the environment and general health concerns of the public, further scientific research into this method and the chemicals used within the process, must be completed before moving forward with mass exploration. Dr. Madelon Finkel points to some of these obstacles and concerns in a piece written for the American Journal of Public Health entitled The Rush to Drill for Natural Gas: A Public Health Cautionary Tale.

The negative effects of fracking, known and yet unknown, are distressing. Citing current studies in New York and Pennsylvania, Finkle points to flaws in the way the government and drilling companies work together in discovering the effects of this process on health. Per her article, even with the ill effects that have been proven within the current chemical agents being used, which have broad health risks ranging from personal sicknesses to generational ailments, Finkle argues that because of lack of disclosure from the drilling companies, the chemicals still unknown in the compounds used for fracking, may have further, more serious health concerns.

Furthermore, the current environment issues that have been proven are just as destructive to the land and water supply, as it is to the human body. There have been a number of cases involving oil spills and gas escaping from already drilled wells and there is also serious concern for the underground water supply. Finkle not only points to the damage caused but the cost of clean up as well, which in turn falls on the backs of the tax payers. Given the many questions that still need to be answered, the most responsible route to take is to refrain from using this method until safety can be generally assured.


Finkel, M. L., PhD., & Law, A., M.D. (2011). The rush to drill for natural gas: A public health cautionary tale. American Journal of Public Health, 101(5), 784-5. Retrieved from


"N.E.Wales Anti-Fracking Action Network claim that when fracking goes wrong it can cause irreversible damage to, aquifers, soil, air quality and the climate, and that the long-term impacts by far outweigh the economic advantages to be gained by a select few in the short term."

Interested in the graph and reading more from the source article it came from? Click the link under the graph.

Do the negatives of fracking out weigh the benefits?

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Stop the Presses!!!

Take a second to vote! My intent for this piece is was to provide information not just persuade without facts. Please vote based not only on what I have provided but also on what you have learned about fracturing.

© 2013 Warren Curtis Daniels Jr


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