The Instigator
ThisIsMyUsername333
Pro (for)
The Contender
Crazyoc
Con (against)

Fracking is our best method of obtaining energy.

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Debate Round Forfeited
ThisIsMyUsername333 has forfeited round #3.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/8/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 341 times Debate No: 95265
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

ThisIsMyUsername333

Pro

For this debate, I will be arguing that fracking is our best method of obtaining energy. By accepting the debate, you are saying that fracking is not a good method of obtaining energy and that it needs to be regulated/banned and that alternative methods should be put into place. For those of you who don't know what fracking is:

Fracking - The process of injecting liquid at a high pressure into subterranean rocks, boreholes, etc., so as to force open existing fissures and extract natural gas. Also called hydraulic fracturing.

First round is acceptance, and following rounds are arguments.

Good luck to whoever first accepts the challenge, and may the best debater win!
Crazyoc

Con

I'll accept your challenge and argue against fracking in favour of renewable power generation.
Debate Round No. 1
ThisIsMyUsername333

Pro

Before I begin, I would like to thank the opponent for accepting my challenge and taking the stance that fracking is not our best current method of obtaining energy. I hope that we can converse in a logical and mature manner.

Fracking, as most people know, is one of our greatest suppliers of jobs and beneficiary to the economy in the entire country. Studies from many information-gathering organizations have shown that fracking provides 9.8 million (5.6%) jobs for Americans, and that we can easily add on at least 1 million more fracking jobs by the year 2025. Other studies suggest that every LNG (liquified natural gas) export terminal represents $10 billion invested in the American economy, and we can add on up to 452,300 in net job growth by the year. Lifting bans on fracking could also add at least $3 trillion dollars into government revenues and and average of 300,000 jobs a year could be created. Economic success of fracking isn't just proven by hypothetical statistics, either; North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate and highest income rate in the country due to its fracking, and South Texas has added an estimated 100% of jobs back to the economy since the Great Recession and boasts its highest amount of jobs since its previous peak because of its recent fracking boom. And if that's not enough yet, without fracking, electricity would cost 10% more and each gallon of gasoline would go up 40 cents.

Now, even though fracking is clearly very beneficial to the U.S. economy, many environmentalists attack fracking, claiming that its environmental costs are too high to keep fracking going. However, contrary to common belief, science shows that fracking is our most environmentally-friendly method of reliable energy that we have, and is just as efficient as fossil fuels but poses no threat to air or water. States with heavy fracking levels report little to no negative air impacts, and the Pennsylvania Department of Envrionmental Protection has even come through stating that air quality has gone up since fracking had recently increased in Pennsylvania. And as for harmful CO2 emissions that may contribute to climate change, the EIA has stated that American CO2 emissions have been decreasing ever since fracking and natural gas have been growing in popularity. Fracking also does not majorly contaminate or waste water, as proven by multiple studies. A five-year study conducted by the EPA struding fracking and water contamination has come to the conclusion that, "We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States." As for the usage of water, the average fracking job requires about 4 million gallons of water, which seems like a lot of water until New York City uses the same amount in six minutes.

Evidently, fracking poses no harm to the environment and plays an incredibly important role in the economy, but there still a few problems. Thankfully, the free market has found a few solutions. Because the ecomics of fracking are doing amazingly, hardworking entrepreneurs have been finding alternative methods of fracking that help the environment. GasFrac, a new competitor in the natural gas industry, has been using a special propane gel as opposed to water, which not only requires very little to operate, but also turns into gas underground, eliminating the need for dumping water. Other companies also use recycled water, brine, and other fluids to reach shale oil. The company Apache also uses only natural gas to power their technology, eliminating the already very small CO2 levels emitted by fracking. And it's not like these innovations are made by the government, either. Putting restrictions on fracking would hinder the progress made by business owners to improve fracking technologies.

So, to wrap this all up, it can be concluded that fracking is the most environmentally-friendly method of reliable, economically-healthy energy that we can get, and that putting government restrictions on it would only stop progress from being made. I look forward to my opponent's opening argument.

Sources:
http://www.api.org...
http://www.api.org...
https://www.ihs.com...
http://www.texastransparency.org...
http://www.nasdaq.com...
http://www.eia.gov...
http://news.nationalgeographic.com...
Crazyoc

Con

While fracking does provide a great many jobs in the United States, it also causes an undue amount of environmental damage. Contrary to what my opponent suggests, fracking does cause dangerous effects to drinking water, especially regarding radioactive and toxic substances. In 2011, the New York Times reported that it obtained thousands of internal documents from the EPA, state regulators and fracking companies, which reveal that "the wastewater, which is sometimes hauled to sewage plants not designed to treat it and then discharged into rivers that supply drinking water, contains radioactivity at levels higher than previously known, and far higher than the level that federal regulators say is safe for these treatment plants to handle." Additionally, 90% of the water used in fracking never returns to the surface, heavily reducing the amount of water available for crops and other vital uses, making droughts in already struggling states like California much worse. This usage also raises the prices of water, meaning we may end up paying more for our food in the future, as well as more for directly supplied water.

Additionally, a recent study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that homes located in suburban and rural areas near fracking sites have an overall radon concentration 39 percent higher than those located in non-fracking urban areas. A naturally occurring radioactive gas formed by the decay of uranium in rock, soil and water, radon"odorless, tasteless and invisible"moves through the ground and into the air, while some remains dissolved in groundwater where it can appear in water wells. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer worldwide, after smoking. The EPA estimates approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. are radon-related.

Earthquakes are also caused by the high pressure water, as conceded by the Oklahoma State Government after many years of denial and avoidance. Oklahoma Geological Survey, a state agency, stated that it is "very likely that the majority of recent earthquakes, particularly those is central and north-central Oklahoma, are triggered by the injection of produced water in disposal wells." Finally environmentally, fracking causes significant methane leakage during the process, meaning that if enough methane is released into the atmosphere before it is burned, the less CO2 emitting fuel may be actually causing more global warming than burning the same amount of coal, as methane is 86 times better at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.

I believe that renewables can provide just as much reliable energy through the use of storage methods, meaning that the US could produce enough energy with renewable methods alone. The US government has found around 5 GW of potential hydroelectric power while building no new dams but instead converting those dams which do not already generate power to hydroelectric dams. These dams could also be fitted with pumps that pump water back to the top of the dam for use in surplus power times to store energy as gravitational potential energy from renewables. From some basic calculations, using just solar to cover all of the USA's energy needs would cost around 100 billion dollars, or around 1500 dollars per taxpayer. This cost would most definitely be worth it for the savings to our environment. However, this is unfeasible and a variety of renewable generation techniques would be much better.

To wrap up, fracking is most definitely not the best method of obtaining electricity, instead a wide variety of renewable methods should be considered to minimize our damage to the ozone layer while also not costing as much as some people say.

Sources:

http://wichita.ogs.ou.edu...
https://en.wikipedia.org...
https://www.earthworksaction.org...
http://www.jhsph.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by ThisIsMyUsername333 1 year ago
ThisIsMyUsername333
Never mind, I fixed it.
Posted by ThisIsMyUsername333 1 year ago
ThisIsMyUsername333
Hold on, I'm having some difficulties saving my argument. The might take a while.
Posted by ThisIsMyUsername333 1 year ago
ThisIsMyUsername333
My thanks to Crazyoc for accepting the debate. My schedule's a bit tied up, so I'll probably post my argument a bit later in the day.
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