The Instigator
moneystacker
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
Atheist-Independent
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Resolved: hydraulic fracturing should continue to be used

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
moneystacker
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/30/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 929 times Debate No: 64242
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (17)
Votes (1)

 

moneystacker

Pro

RUles:

1. Round one is just for clarification however con can post argument in round 1 if he wants or wait.

2. don't forfeit I am giving you 72 hours

3. have fun
Atheist-Independent

Con

I accept this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
moneystacker

Pro

Intro: we can call agree energy is important and is needed to thrive as a nation so for that reason I go neg today is because, hydraulic fracturing has been the best way to obtain energy and contributes heavily to the economy it is a more effective way to save the environment rather than less advanced ways to get natural gas and petroleum
Intro part 2: There are some negative effects of fracking undoubtedly. Of course there need to be improvements like finding a way to completely minimize environmental impact but currently this is our best option in domestic energy and also a good temporary job creator while we explore other energy avenues. Solar energy is generally useless currently as the most high tech panels are only reaching a little above 30% efficiency while wind energy requires certain conditions and windmills. Not saying they can't be improved but until they are fracking is our best option until renewable sources are optional and fully functional.

1.Direct Economic Impact
"The direct benefit of increasing oil and gas production includes the value of increased production attributable to the technology. In 2011, the USA produced 8,500,983 million cubic feet of natural gas from shale gas wells. Taking an average price of $4.24 per thousand cubic feet, that's a value of about $36 billion, due to shale gas alone.
"The Yale study group also looked at the potential benefit to consumers of replacing oil consumption with natural gas by converting fleets from gasoline and diesel to compressed gas or LNG. The math works like this - It takes 6 mcf of gas to get the energy equivalent of one barrel of oil. The authors assume an average natural gas price of $5 per mcf (nearly double today"s price) and an average oil price of $100 per barrel (about $20 more than today). Thus, you need $30 worth of natural gas to replace $100 of oil, a savings of $70 per barrel. Replacing just 1 million barrels per day of oil demand with natural gas would save $70 million a day, or nearly $26 billion a year.

2.More efficient then coal
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, natural gas-fired electricity generates half the carbon dioxide of coal-fired production. It is also cheaper than coal when it comes to usage
3.Can help with foreign issues/relations
"Fracturing has eliminated the need for natural-gas exports from Iran, removing Iran"s ability to use energy diplomacy as a means to strengthen its regional power or to buttress its nuclear aspirations. Shale gas will also ease American and Chinese dependence on Middle Eastern natural-gas supplies, limiting the incentives for geopolitical and commercial competition between the two largest consuming countries and providing both with new opportunities to diversify their energy supply away from coal"whose carbon footprint, air particulate and mercury pollution, and water use burdens are far higher than those of natural gas.
4.Uses less water
90% of the hydraulic fracturing fluid is water, and around 5 to 7% sand. Most of the alleged chemicals in frack fluid are slickeners. Hydraulic fracturing surprisingly uses less water. Fracking requires just 0.6 to 5.8 gallons of water per million Btu of energy produced. By comparison, "renewable" and "sustainable" corn-based ethanol requires 2,510 to 29,100 gallons per million Btu of usable energy. Biodiesel from soybeans consumes 14,000 to 75,000 gallons of water per million Btu. Also, in a study of 200 water wells near fracking sites, the water quality stayed the same before and after except in one case. The myth about fracking causing earthquakes has not been confirmed.
5.Fracking directly doesn"t cause leaks
"The process of fracking is not the problem, but rather poor maintenance. 6 to 7% percent of wells are built incorrectly, causing the leaks. A mobile water evaporator, for example, can eliminate the wastewater before it leaks. So basically a solution would be to ensure better construction of the wells and improve maintenance not remove fracking.
6.Fracturing can continue to provide jobs
"There are 1.7 million jobs supported by fracking, and jobs will increase to 3 million by the end of the decade Examples of jobs provided, providing tax revenues to the government and creating much-needed high-paying American jobs. Engineering and surveying, construction, hospitality, equipment manufacturing and environmental permitting etc.
"$2.5 trillion in cumulative federal, state and local tax receipts between 2012 and 2035. -
"Looking at GDP growth, the IHS study found that, 'the shale gas contribution to GDP was $76.9 billion in 2010, will increase to $118 billion by 2015, and will nearly triple to $231 billion in 2035,' all in 2010 dollars.
Responses/extra things for speech
1.No ground contamination / is safe
2.Even though 90% of oil and gas wells in the United States (one million wells total) have undergone fracturing to stimulate production, there have been no confirmed cases of contamination of underground sources of drinking water.
Water is safe
3.Current industry well design practices ensure multiple levels of protection between any sources of drinking water and the production zone of an oil and gas well.
"In no case have we made a definitive determination that the fracking process has caused chemical contamination of groundwater." (Fox News, April 27, 2013)
And:
"I'm not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water." (Congressional testimony, May 24, 2011)
"A 2011 report for the Secretary of Energy counted 19 times that water from hydraulic fracturing operations has been released, out of thousands of wells drilled. None of these instances included groundwater contamination.
Hydraulic fracturing allows improved recovery of valuable energy resources and production of greater volumes of hydrocarbons from each well. The size of the area drained by a hydraulically fractured well is larger than wells that are not stimulated by the process. Therefore, fewer oil and gas wells need to be drilled if hydraulic fracturing is utilized, which in turn minimizes waste volumes and surface disturbance associated with oil and gas drilling.

Scenario for if the so called spills were to happen and the low cost compared to the economic benifits
"costs for a scenario that assumes 100 spills a year out of 10,000 new wells drilled each year. They figure that if 5,000 gallons of polluted hydraulic fracturing fluid were to spill into a field, the cost to scrape up a hypothetical 5,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and dispose of it at an offsite landfill would be on the order of $2.5 million. Furthermore, if potable water wells were polluted by hydraulic fracturing, the cost to haul in a potable water supply and drill new water wells would be about $5,000 per well. Given 100 incidents in a year, the clean-up costs associated with hydraulic fracturing accidents would be roughly $250 million.
Comparing $250 million a year in phantom damages against the $100 billion in savings and economic benefits, it is reasonable to conclude that benefits exceed costs to by 400-to-1.
Website links:
"http://www.americanthinker.com...
Atheist-Independent

Con

ARGUMENT

I would first off like to thank my opponent for creating this debate. I have been wanting to debate this subject for a while, and even created a similarly fashioned debate, although nobody accepted. Therefore I am extremely excited to take on this challenge!


For my opening round I will divide my arguments into two sub-divisions which will be:

D1: Environmental Effects
D2: Health Effects

I would also like to note that hydraulic fracturing and fracking are the same concepts, just in case any readers become confused. I will generally use the term "fracking" as opposed to hydraulic fracturing.


Another issue that I would like to address before I begin my argument is how the process of fracking works. Again, to avoid confusion, I would like to describe that here. First, a hole, or a "wellbore" must be drilled at least 5,000 feet into the earth. Once the drill reaches the 5,000 feet it begins to drill horizontally along the shale layer for about one mile. Then thousands of tiny holes are punctured into the earth by a perforating gun. Finally, the fracking fluid, which will be described in further detail later in my argument, is injected down into the earth where it cracks open the shale rock and causes the natural gas inside to flow out [1].

D1: ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS

1. Air Pollution
While fracking, and by extension natural gas, is touted for its lack of carbon emmisions, it still can contribute significantly to air pollution. Fracking produces methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas, and approximately 4% of the methane that is created from fracking is released into the atmosphere. Upon first glance this may seem to be far superior to burning of other fossil fuels such as oil and coal, which are infamous for their huge amount of carbon dioxide emissions. However, methane is 25 times more efficient at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide is. Therefore by changing from oil and coal to natural gas, in other words lowering carbon dioxide emissions and increasing methane ones, would not improve the environment in the slightest.


However, not just methane is released through the process of fracking. These include benzene, toluene, xylene and ethyl benzene (BTEX), nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and metals contained in diesel fuel combustion. Combine the effects of methane, along with all of these other air pollutants, and it seems that natural gas is not more environmentally friendly than oil and coal after all.

2. Water Pollution
Water contamination is the primary concern that is presented with fracking. The most famous situation would be the water that catches on fire after being contaminated by fracking fluid, as shown in the famous movie Gasland.

However, before analyzing the effects of fracking on natural water reserves, let us see what the infamous fracking fluid is made up of. The problem with this is that we really do not know what is in the fluid, mainly because the corporations do not want to release that information for fear of angering the public. However some chemicals are known such as Hydrochloric Acid (HCL), Glutaraldehyde, Quaternary Ammonium Chloride, Tetrakis Hydroxymethyl-Phosphonium Sulfate, Isoproponal, and many others [2]. While it is likely that very few people have ever heard of these chemicals (perhaps with the exception of HCL), the effects that they could have on water are mostly self explanatory. True, the purpose of the fracking fluid is not to contaminate the water sources, however due to the fact that there is very little control over where the fluid will go once it is 5,000 feet underground, it is highly possible that it will find its way into water sources anyways.

However, fracking fluid is not the sole area for concern in fracking. The fracking also uncovers large amounts of naturally occurring radioactive material, liquid hydrocarbons, brine water and heavy metals. These materials are often left in the earth and they therefore mix into the water sources as well.

D2: HEALTH EFFECTS

1. Effects That Fracking Fluid Has on Humans
As shown back in D2: Contention 2, the fracking process causes the fracking fluid to mingle with natural water reserves underground. In 2011 the journal Human and Ecological Risk Assessment discovered that of the 632 known chemicals found in fracking fluid, about 75% of them effect human skin, eyes, and other sensory organs. 40-50% of them could effect the brain and the nervous system, immune and cardiovascular systems, and kidneys. 37% effect the endocrine system (glands that produce hormones [3]). And 25% could cause various cancers and mutations [5].


I feel that there is no further need to analyze this data, and to conclude that fracking has extremely negative effects on both the environment and on human health.

SOURCES

[1] http://www.vox.com...

[2]
https://fracfocus.org...

[3] http://www.innerbody.com...

[4] http://serc.carleton.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
moneystacker

Pro

My opponents argument isn't in English so I can't read it. So I can't respond. Opponent please retype it in English.
Atheist-Independent

Con

Due to the fact that my opponent could not see my argument (in English at least) and therefore could not post a rebuttal, I will pass this round so that the debate remains fair.
Debate Round No. 3
moneystacker

Pro

Clarification: Just a heads up yes it is confirmed fracking and hydraulic fracturing are 100% of the same thing just a repeat for people looking at this debate.

Response to his arguments

His first argument is air pollution and hyrdralic fracturing will not increase the environment but neither would Coal with the carbon admissions so we must look at which benefits the economy most. Also coal has, air particulate and mercury pollution, and water use burdens are far higher than those of natural gas so it has many other harms as well but I will restate economic benefits of fracking.

The direct benefit of increasing oil and gas production includes the value of increased production attributable to the technology. In 2011, the USA produced 8,500,983 million cubic feet of natural gas from shale gas wells. Taking an average price of $4.24 per thousand cubic feet, that's a value of about $36 billion, due to shale gas alone.
"The Yale study group also looked at the potential benefit to consumers of replacing oil consumption with natural gas by converting fleets from gasoline and diesel to compressed gas or LNG. The math works like this - It takes 6 mcf of gas to get the energy equivalent of one barrel of oil. The authors assume an average natural gas price of $5 per mcf (nearly double today"s price) and an average oil price of $100 per barrel (about $20 more than today). Thus, you need $30 worth of natural gas to replace $100 of oil, a savings of $70 per barrel. Replacing just 1 million barrels per day of oil demand with natural gas would save $70 million a day, or nearly $26 billion a year.

His next argument is pollution of water from fracking which I will attack in the following points.
1. the process of fracking itself doesn't cause leaks
prof backing this up
A. Even though 90% of oil and gas wells in the United States (one million wells total) have undergone fracturing to stimulate production, there have been no confirmed cases of contamination of underground sources of drinking water.

B. In no case have we made a definitive determination that the fracking process has caused chemical contamination of groundwater." (Fox News, April 27, 2013)

c.I'm not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water." (Congressional testimony, May 24, 2011)
D. A 2011 report for the Secretary of Energy counted 19 times that water from hydraulic fracturing operations has been released, out of thousands of wells drilled. None of these instances included groundwater contamination.

2. the so called cases of fracking affecting water can be fixed with better maintance
The process of fracking is not the problem, but rather poor maintenance. 6 to 7% percent of wells are built incorrectly, causing the leaks. A mobile water evaporator, for example, can eliminate the wastewater before it leaks. So the few cases that have happened from leaks have been from of course the view wells that were not built right, so my solution is to ensure construction of the wells for fracking are as accurate as possible.

Conclusion: There are some negative effects of fracking undoubtedly. Of course there need to be improvements like finding a way to completely minimize environmental impact but currently this is our best option in domestic energy and also a good temporary job creator while we explore other energy avenues. Solar energy is generally useless currently as the most high tech panels are only reaching a little above 30% efficiency while wind energy requires certain conditions and windmills. Not saying they can't be improved but until they are fracking is our best option until renewable sources are optional and fully functional.

Again the economic benefits of fracking are huge.
1. "There are 1.7 million jobs supported by fracking, and jobs will increase to 3 million by the end of the decade Examples of jobs provided, providing tax revenues to the government and creating much-needed high-paying American jobs. Engineering and surveying, construction, hospitality, equipment manufacturing and environmental permitting etc.
2. Replacing just 1 million barrels per day of oil demand with natural gas would save $70 million a day, or nearly $26 billion a year.
3. cheaper then coal
4."Looking at GDP growth, the IHS study found that, 'the shale gas contribution to GDP was $76.9 billion in 2010, will increase to $118 billion by 2015, and will nearly triple to $231 billion in 2035,' all in 2010 dollars.

Conclusion: I am not saying environmental harms shouldn't be considered I am just saying any way to gain energy or any factory or whatever causes harm to the environment. Since their are no other alternatives that bring in massive energy then we must consider and use the best one we have which is fracking.
Atheist-Independent

Con

Atheist-Independent forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Atheist-Independent 2 years ago
Atheist-Independent
I will make the debate on Monday I think. Things are a bit hectic right now.
Posted by moneystacker 2 years ago
moneystacker
ye I told him about that I thought it was just my computer but it wasn't
Posted by JayConar 2 years ago
JayConar
A-I we can't see your round 2! It's in a strange font that is half English and half (cyrillic?xD) post it for us :3
Posted by moneystacker 2 years ago
moneystacker
sure can you post a debate and invite
Posted by Atheist-Independent 2 years ago
Atheist-Independent
Do you want to redo this debate? This time without the Greek and forfeit :P
Posted by moneystacker 2 years ago
moneystacker
it's ok since was forfeit on last round no biggie.
Posted by Atheist-Independent 2 years ago
Atheist-Independent
AH! Apologies for the forfeit. I simply had no time.
Posted by moneystacker 2 years ago
moneystacker
k thx iwill now reply
Posted by Atheist-Independent 2 years ago
Atheist-Independent
Also, to ensure that I won't cheat by adding on to my argument, you can see when I last edited my argument on the top of the page.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
moneystackerAtheist-IndependentTied
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Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: This is insane. Con has Greek. GREEK! Conduct to pro since ff, S and G to pro because of the insane Greek round. Pro also wins arguments since he proved, not only does H.F. have overall positive economic effects, but also managed to put sufficient doubt through con's arguments, and con only managed to pull off "H.F. is only as efficient as coal", therefore pro wins this too due to how H. F. is cheaper. Pro also wins creation of jobs argument that is un-refuted.