Human activities which interfere with the environment need to be analyzed in order to identify their impacts to the human beings themselves, and to the environment. The writer of the essay “Imposing Regulations on Hydraulic Fracturing” analyzes the effects of hydraulic fracturing to the environment and to human beings. The writer identifies issues underlying the activity and leaves the reader to conclude whether the activity is worth carrying out. It is true that regulation of hydraulic fracturing by the federal government would help people to realize that even if the activity is important in providing solution to dependency on foreign nations for fuel; it is a health risk and a burden to the environment.
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The writer explains how hydraulic fracturing process is carried out; it involves extraction of natural gas from underground a process which requires the use of very strong chemicals which can help drill sandstones (Mellissa p1).
To the economy of the nation, the process is vital since it helps free the nation for dependency on other nations for fuel (Mellissa p2). This has been emphasized by Vaughn (39) who states that: “Supporters of exploration and drilling cite the need for developing domestic sources of fuel and the crisis in the Persian Gulf as prime reasons for reducing U.S. dependence upon foreign oil,” (Mellissa p1). Other arguments given from an economical point of view states that extraction of oil from the nation would lower energy costs and also create jobs (Mellissa p2).
However, the question on the impacts of the activity to human beings and their surroundings has also been highlighted; from medical knowledge use of chemicals is related to certain health complications on human beings especially cancers. Chemicals are known to be source of various forms of pollutions including; water, land and air pollution (Mellissa p1), when they are released to the environment. These issues are the major concern of the writer who highlights the need for the federal government to impose rules on hydraulic fracturing to help combat negative impacts on the environment and on people.
However, this would seem to contradict with the opinion of economists who insist on maximum exploration of nation’s natural resources in order to be self-sufficient. This point has also been given by J. Weeks article ‘Domestic Energy Development’ which states that, “New refineries, plants, pipelines and terminals are needed to meet rising domestic demand, but states and communities often are concerned about the impact on safety, the environment and property values. Balancing local priorities against the need for new energy facilities invariably stirs controversy” (Mellissa p1)
The writer point of view is convincing; since the activity is important to the economy of the nation, doing away with it in order to combat negative impacts related to the activity is not the absolute solution. In order to gain from the activity and at the same times reduce the negative impacts; it is important for the Federal Government to intervene. Intervention can be in various ways; for instance, there should be regulation on the concentration of the chemicals used in the activity, and also policies on the disposal of the chemicals should be given. The site of carrying out the activity should be approved by the federal government in order that the activity is not done in areas where human beings live or where there are natural resources such as rivers. Imposing regulation on hydraulic fracturing would thus be beneficial in helping people consider the economic benefits, health hazards, and destructive impacts on the environment of the activity.