Essay about The Impact of Fracking on Global Warming

1248 Words Oct 26th, 2014 5 Pages
The Impact of Fracking on Global Warming
Meteorology I
24 July 2014

With the world hungry for fuel and environmentalists longing for a clean solution to carbons, a questionable method of extraction has entered the skirmish. Creating jobs and supply of fuel that may eventually limit the need of the America’s oil consumption, hydraulic fracturing is not without controversy. While some see it as a viable answer to the nation’s needs, others claim the damage done will be irreversible. Claiming that during the process of hydraulic fracturing, methane gas is released into the earth’s atmosphere, environmentalists are assuring this is adding to the already overabundance of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere generated from
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Being used for an extended time this has both benefits and weaknesses, especially with regards to the environment and its effects on global warming. One negative effect of hydraulic fracturing is it impact on Global Warming Potential (GWP) used to estimate how potent a fossil fuel is to the natural greenhouse gases and thus Global Warming. The United States, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) evaluates the GWP of many kinds of pollutants over time (Fracking Impacts). If a pollutant has a GWP of one, then every pound of that pollutant will contribute to global warming as much as one pound of carbon dioxide (CO2). If a pollutant has a GWP of twenty, then one pound of that pollutant contributes to global warming as much as twenty pounds of CO2. Over one hundred years, methane has a GWP of twenty, meaning it is twenty times more potent than CO2 as an agent of climate change. Emissions of other greenhouse gasses exist at all stages of the process of extracting, refining, transporting, and finally burning natural gas. The building of natural gas power plants and refineries will require additional greenhouse gas emissions, all while our current coal fleet stays online. It could take more than fifty years for us to see any significant benefit from transitioning a substantial part of our coal infrastructure over to natural gas (Fracking Impacts, 2014). The

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