Ethics of Fracking the Monterey Shale


The current gas energy boom in the United States has sparked intense debates about how this abundant energy resource should be extracted. In northeastern states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, shale gas has revitalized depressed communities with new jobs and land lease fees paid to farmers who own the land where oil and gas companies want to drill for gas. But other states like Texas and Wyoming have oil deposits in rock formations similar to the gas deposits of the northeast, so the oil and gas industry is keen to extract multiple sources of fossil fuels.

But with the rush to drill, environmentalists and community organizations are at arms to stop the onslaught of drilling sites for fear that their fresh water sources, their air quality, and the ecological habitats where the drill sites are placed are all in risk of irreversible damage because of waste products produced by drilling for oil and gas using a method commonly referred to as “fracking”, short for High-volume Hydraulic Fracturing.

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