Effects of industrial pollution essays
In economics, an externality is the cost or benefit that affects a party who did not choose to incur that cost or benefit. Externalities often occur when a product or service's price equilibrium cannot reflect the true costs and benefits of that product or service. This causes the externality competitive equilibrium to not be a Pareto optimality. · John Majewski is an economics major at the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently serving as a summer intern with the Institute for Humane Studies. Following graduation in , John hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in economics. This paper was awarded second prize, college division, in FEE’s.
- What You Need to Know About Fracking In Canada
- Antarctic Pollution Issues
- Trending Topics
Ten years later, nearly everyone has at least heard of the controversial process of accessing oil and gas deposits. Fracking is a technique to blast a mixture of water, chemicals and sand into a well to break apart the rock formations and release previously inaccessible oil and natural gas deposits. Most fracking today is done in conjunction with horizontal drilling. The ascent of fracking put an end to speculation that oil and gas reserves in North America were mostly tapped out remember Peak Oil?
Fracking uses large amounts of fresh water — in B. This can easily require more than 2, truck trips to deliver water, which becomes contaminated after the fracking process and must be disposed of somehow — either in tailings ponds or by being injected deep underground. As documented in a recent five-year EPA study, leaks and spills of frack fluid have created long-term water concerns more on that in a moment. In Canada, more than , wells have been horizontally fracked for shale gas or oil, primarily in the western provinces.
It is now estimated that 80 per cent of new oil and gas wells in Canada are fracked. The past few years have seen a slowdown in fracking due in large part to the drastic drop in oil prices in Some critics allege, however, that the industry is heavily indebted and is barely staying afloat. The industry is cautiously optimistic that things are picking back up.
The industry estimates that each rig creates about jobs — 20 involved directly with fracking and indirectly such as equipment suppliers and truck drivers. After a review of royalty rates, the provincial government decided last year to keep rates low, thus continuing to incentivize fracking. Despite its distance from B. As opposed to the shale gas further west, fracking in both Saskatchewan and Manitoba is for shale oil, also referred to as tight oil.
As new formations continue to be found, fracking has spread to the southwest of Saskatchewan in the Viking and Lower Shaunavon formations. As of , Saskatchewan had 7, horizontally fracked wells. There are no outright fracking bans in Canada; instead there is a mix of explicit and de facto moratoriums due to either public outcry or lack of economic feasibility due to geology.
After long, heated campaigns, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia announced fracking moratoriums within months of each other in In New Brunswick, the October clash between the Elsipogtog First Nation and the RCMP — resulting in six police cars torched and 40 people arrested —became a national story and galvanized the opposition. In order to lift the moratorium in New Brunswick, five conditions would need to be met, and a recent report indicates that the conditions are not close to being met.
PEI and Ontario governments have thus far rejected calls to ban fracking, citing a lack of applications for fracking permits. The Ontario government has pledged to conduct a review of the practice, but that has yet to happen.
In , a de facto moratorium set two years earlier was extended indefinitely. But the passage of Bill in December appears to open things up for oil and gas exploration, including fracking, although most of the regulations are yet to be announced. In addition, the Quebec government last summer announced it would allow fracking on Anticosti Island, contending that it was due to a pre-moratorium commitment.
Meantime, in the Northwest Territories, where there is a large deposit of shale oil located very far from any pipeline or road, a motion calling for a moratorium was voted down by the legislature in However, in Husky Energy withdrew its application to frack wells in the Sahtu region, so no fracking seems imminent.
The victorious Liberal Party ran on a pledge to institute a fracking moratorium which is currently in place. Environmental groups are concerned that government approvals for conventional oil and gas exploration will lead to unconventional as the majority of oil and gas reserves in the Yukon are in shale beds that require fracking although the government has recently confirmed no fracking will be allowed if and when oil and gas operations go ahead.
Despite calls for a national moratorium on fracking by some groups including: Unifor, The Council of Canadians, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, numerous First Nations , prospects for it seem dim. In , Environment Canada commissioned a report on fracking and the primary finding was that more research and information on potential environmental impacts are needed. With concerns over drinking water, fracking-triggered earthquakes and impacts on the landscape, a majority of Canadians oppose fracking.
An Insights West poll in March found that opposition rose from 47 per cent to 61 per cent over a month period. He says that regulations in B.
What You Need to Know About Fracking In Canada
Critics, however, call for tighter regulations across the fracking zone, including better baseline testing of groundwater. Fears of water contamination have driven the opposition to fracking in Atlantic Canada and elsewhere.
The concern is the mix of chemicals used in fracking — last month, researchers in Alberta found that, even when diluted considerably, fracking fluids can harm fish. Rather, the concerns are primarily over leaks of fracking fluids in cement well casings; the discharge and disposal of fracking wastewater, which has been found to contain cancer-causing chemicals and is often injected into other wells; and spills during collection, processing and transport.
Antarctic Pollution Issues
These concerns were confirmed in a recent U. EPA report , which found examples of drinking water contamination at various stages of the fracking process, despite a recent study that found the EPA report vastly undercounted the number of fracking-related spills. The latest research indicates that fracking can trigger small-to-moderate earthquakes. The vast majority of quakes over 3.
The industry contends that because the quakes occur so far underground, they present minimal damage risk. On the other hand, there is indication that the more than 1, earthquakes that have shaken B.
There are calls for more research to assess the risk of these quakes to pipelines, dams and other infrastructure as well as how they affect the flow of groundwater and migration of gases into the atmosphere. This is why critics believe that any expansion of fracking e. The federal government has committed to reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45 per cent below levels by A big unknown is whether U.
Already, the scale of fracking in the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania is pushing western Canadian shale gas out of Ontario and Quebec; as such, the industry is looking toward markets in India and other parts of Asia. Politics will also be a factor.
Fracking moratoriums made by executive orders, such as in New Brunswick, are more fragile than those that are legislated, and the very nature of moratoriums makes them much more precarious than a ban.
As the science begins to catch up with the technology deployed for more than a decade, gaps in data and knowledge about the health impacts of the technology will increasingly be filled. For instance, indigenous energy researcher Caleb Behn, subject of the documentary Fractured Land , is involved with an academic study that researches long-term impacts of fracking on indigenous health — specifically reproductive health and cancer potential — in northeastern B.
Another long-term issue is who pays for post-fracking cleanup. While cement seals tend to degrade in all wells, fracked wells are particularly prone to leaks. Because repairing a leaky well is very expensive, some companies find it cheaper to keep paying lease fees for inactive wells instead of paying to reclaim them. David Minkow is a veteran print and broadcast journalist based on Vancouver Island.
For decades, establishing a park in Canada meant removing Indigenous people from their traditional territories High concentrations of a potentially toxic element have been found in fish in the Kootenai For a nation ravaged by violent and exploitative colonial powers, the opening of a big People always tell us they love our newsletter.
Image: A fracking drill rig near Fort St. John, B. David Minkow. What Is Fracking? Fracking in Canada In Canada, more than , wells have been horizontally fracked for shale gas or oil, primarily in the western provinces. Where is Fracking Happening in Canada? The shale gas phenomenon in Canada has been concentrated in Alberta and northeastern B. Where is Fracking Banned?
Is Fracking Safe? Concerns About Water Contamination Fears of water contamination have driven the opposition to fracking in Atlantic Canada and elsewhere. Published By. See similar stories bc. Water Contamination. Most Shared.
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