Editorial: Fracking saves the economy

By JoJo Brinkhoff
Entertainment Editor

Science-ICONAs the population expands in the United States, a prosperous economy is needed to maintain the growth. Fracking in the U.S. would maintain the economy.

For those who have never heard of fracking before, fracking (or hydraulic fracturing) is oil drilling with water pressure. Instead of drilling in a vertical line like the traditional drilling process, the fracking process drills two miles vertical then curves on the Bakkan formation where the oil is.

According to theoec.org, a mixture of water, sand and chemicals are inserted into the pipes. At high pressure, the water and chemicals breaks the rocks while the sand holds it open, forcing the oil and natural gas to travel up the pipes. Once on the surface, the oil is then hauled on semi-trucks to different oil industries.

Because fracking is such a huge process, job opportunities – especially roughnecks (oil drillers), truck drivers and construction workers – are bountiful. In this country, job opportunities are what the economy needs. Don’t believe me? Try adding these numbers up.

According to the American Petroleum Institute [api.org], if Missouri was a non–fracking state, the employment rate of 2012 should have dropped an additional 1.01 percent. Now if there are roughly 6.02 million people living in Missouri and 1.01 percent didn’t have a job, then nearly six thousand people would be left unemployed.

See what I’m saying? With a continuous growing population, the need for more jobs is critical.

Fracking in the U.S. would lower the national debt. According to ameinfo.com, the Middle East paid a total of 23.6 percent on their tax rates in 2013. In the U.S., we pay nearly 58 percent on our tax rates. The big reason; we are funding their government by buying their oil.

So how much does the U.S. spend on oil? According to the Pickens Plan [pickensplan.com], the U.S. pays an average of $116 per barrel of oil. In February 2013, 267 million barrels were purchased. That is $30,872 in one month for oil. Oiling in the U.S. would drop the price by $100.

We’re paying billions of dollars to another country who has threatened our land in several occasions. And what does the U.S. profit from this? Lower unemployment rates, threats of war, powerful enemies, high tax rates, rising debt rates and a pathetic economy. However, we get our oil in the end.

If we want to avoid at least half of those problems listed, then stop purchasing oil from a foreign country. We have the resources and the technology, why waste it?

Despite the good fracking offers for the U.S. economy, the media has wrongfully exaggerated the negative side. New ways have been found to lower dangers of natural gas and protection on our drinking water.

In North Dakota, one-third of natural gas that is not being used is burned off. According to an article in the March 2013 issue of National Geographic, if the fracking sites don’t have the pipes to harvest natural gas, then burning it off is the safest alternative for the air.

As for the water mixer, according to National Geographic, 80.5% of the mixer is water and 19% is sand. The .5% is chemicals which are commonly used in households.

The water mixer is pumped 1.5 miles below our drinking water which a proton of it remains. The mixer that returns to the surface is either pumped back into the oil well or recycled in to our drinking water. In fact, 20% of the water mixer is recyclable and safe to drink.

Now, what about the waste that isn’t pumped into the pipes? About 2,500 ft. below groundwater, the water mixer is dumped into the disposal well.

Does it still affect our drinking water? According to the Heritage Foundation [heritage.org], “[the] investigations … thus far the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found no evidence of [water] contamination.” With the right technology and sturdy equipment, the risks are reduced greatly.

Because fracking drills horizontal after two miles vertical, less oil drills are needed to pump oil. Thus, saving space on the land and tearing up the soil.

Despite all the precautions there will be flaws, that’s just human nature. however, being able to reduce these risks makes fracking a suitable choice. Besides, we’re still polluting the air and drinking water overseas just as much as in the U.S., perhaps more.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to preserve the environment as well. However, I’m not too fond of entering adulthood with little job offers and a massive debt over the U.S. The way I see it, if we can reduce pollution which we can, then we should oil on our own land.