Energy production usually amounts in some way to torment to planet Earth. It’s an enterprise to which we consented upon industrializing society — chafing and siphoning the ground, and, in the worst cases, national border lines, in order to make our machines go.
Fracking, as is the case with most energy procedures, has benefits and drawbacks. Stories have surfaced telling of contaminated water and air surrounding the drilling, and these incidents have garnered grand attention from the environmentally minded.
Unlike what’s said by some unwitting denouncers, fracking’s magnanimity of scope is undeniable, indicated for one by Valero Energy chairman and chief Bill Klesse in Russel Gold’s book The Boom / How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World. Klesse insists: “‘If you said three years ago that North America could be oil self-sufficient, it was a joke,’ (Valero Energy chairman and chief Bill Klesse) said. ‘But now, it’s very real.’”
Doubtless this is a big issue, because self-sufficiency would likely drastically decrease our country’s military strain. So an ensuing discussion is necessary of the ideal, framed with the reality, held by drilling for gas in shale rock on domestic sites. Optimally, anyone examining the energy situation bears in mind the probability that we recently militaristically invaded a country for the exploitation of its energy offerings, a procedure that should by common sense be avoided at all lesser costs for simple humanitarian reasons.
Fracking, as an alternative, should be championed, nurtured, monitored and, if necessary, improved. It seems to have met, though, with almost unanimous opposition among the left wing and in organized efforts to “help the environment.” According to Michelle Bamberger and Robert Oswald, in their book The Real Cost of Fracking: How America’s Shale Gas Boom is Threatening Our Families, Pets, and Food, drilling for shale gas in America is an out-of-control monster of destruction done by “amateurs.” The discourse of their book essentially revolves around the tenet that “While the still-to-be-demonstrated economic benefits of unconventional fossil fuel extraction are continually promoted by the media and by the government, the environmental aspects have been given little or no attention until recently” (Bamberger and Oswald 4).
To the environmentalists’ credit, as implicitly conveyed in Gold’s book, there does seem to be a prideful obstinacy alive in the hearts of certain energy controllers, as suggested by a Marathon superintendent Pat Tschacher “‘There are three things that make a good well. Location, location, location’” (Gold 44).
In other words, in light of all the potential for environmental faux pas, Tschacher would ideally emphasize safety and sanitation of sprouting fracking locales. As is the case, though, his eyeballs seem lined with dollar signs, and he’s apparently aloof to the effect his practice has in some, albeit rare, cases, enacted on the earth. What we have, then, is basically a giant tug of war between two extremely polarized parties: the money and the “brains,” or what is purported to be the brains.
Troublingly, though, apropos of the aforementioned quote, Bamberger and Oswald ignore what is the obvious economic benefit of fracking: it is done at home, right here in the United States. Essentially it’s not too different from every other form of energy derivation practiced in our history, and its orchestration on our own land gives it a keen potential for accountability and fostering.
Commendably, The Real Cost of Fracking does stake its claim to some valid indictment of the government: “Legal obligations… allow companies engaged in the extraction of gas and oil from shale via fracking to conceal the names of the chemicals and chemical mixtures they blast down holes in the ground (Bamberger and Oswald 4-5).” As with the case of the book’s entirety, though, evident is a clear oppositional tone, attempting to suggest absolute cognitive superiority over the fracking industry. In other words, given the writers’ disgruntled stature, the reader would think they had all the world’s energy problems solved. Though missing from the book are alternatives. Also, there was obviously misinformation, or at least exaggeration, prevalent in the support of the Iraq war, which arguably was for the purpose of deriving an easy energy supply, given Halliburton’s leverage there.
What it all boils down to, without a doubt, is that our country has an insuperable thirst for energy, and in order to keep its price tolerable, it’s necessary that demand be fed with blistering speed. Bamberger and Oswald are taking advantage of the emotional claims of a few victimized parties, justified be it that they are, in order to create an anti-fracking buzz, all the while under the myth and illusion that today, for America, a better method of procuring oil and gas exists. The fact of our own ground and vegetation being given prevalent treatment over the safety of Americans and Iraqis to me is truly troubling.