Fracking Into The Future : A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing on The Environment and Economy in the Marcellus Region
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Over the last decade, hydraulic fracturing has created a boom in the U.S natural gas industry. This natural gas boom has had broad implications on the economy and environment. Some of the positive economic impacts of fracking include an increase in employment and GDP, as well as, a dramatic change in the importation of oil and gas. Despite the economic benefits of fracking there has been great debate around the environmental risks of fracking, and whether or not fracking should take place. The environmental damages of fracking include the contamination of fresh ground water, air pollution, and earth quakes. Given these environmental and economic impacts of fracking this paper will use a basic cost-benefit analysis framework to evaluate whether or not fracking should take place. For the purpose of this study, the data used has been sourced from various research papers, academic studies, government sources and private agencies. This paper does not attempt to do an extensive analysis on fracking companies, however, data on company costs and profits have been used to emphasize the economic benefits of fracking. This SIP makes use of various environmental evaluation approaches to display the possible benefits of preserving our environment. Current legislation and environmental policies will also be examined in order to evaluate the environmental impact of fracking. Through this basic cost-benefit analysis framework, this paper will conclude that the environmental damage associated with fracking outweighs the economic benefits.