The Pros and Cons of Natural Gas and Fracking by Ruth BjorklundFor ages 12 and up, a quick overview for adults. Takes a balanced look at the issues and reasons behind fracking and opposition to it.
The natural gas that is a product of fracking helps keep oil prices down by creating competition.
However, fracking often ruins the health and housing market of communities, especially small towns.
As a new and booming market, the effects of chemicals and methods used in fracking are not well understood yet. Thus regulations cannot be strong enough to ensure safety.
Giving this one 4 stars instead of 5 for trying but failing to convincingly kumbaya the issue by implying fracking companies and environmentalists are now working together to resolve it.
Natural Gas 101
Natural Gas: Pros and Cons
Natural gas is mainly composed of methane and a small percentage of other hydrocarbons e. This simple composition makes natural gas a valuable energy resource and a great asset to the global economy. Its use is becoming more and more popular since it can be used in a variety of sectors industrial, commercial, residential, electric power generation, transportation, etc. More specifically:. Some of the main advantages in using natural gas are listed below:. Natural gas is cheaper compared to other fossil fuels and cheaper than electricity when used for supplying home appliances. Natural gas appliances are also cheaper compared to electrical ones.
Natural gas is an energy resource we obtain from deep beneath the surface of the Earth. It consists mostly of methane, while containing a small amount of non-hydrocarbon gases and hydrocarbon gas liquids. We can use this energy resource to make chemicals, various materials, or as a fuel source. Natural gas formed from the remains of organic life. Plants and animals decayed, then built up in thick layers beneath the group. As these layers were buried under increasing levels of silt, sand, and rock, the heat and pressure helped to transform this organic material. It is the same process which helped to form coal and some petroleum.
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Compressed Natural Gas (CNG): Pros & Cons
Natural gas, as its name implies, is a type of fossil fuel that develops naturally in the environment. This type of gas is a mixture of different hydrocarbons, most of which are methane along with traces of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and other gases. Natural gas is usually processed before it can be supplied to consumers to remove water and other impurities. This process creates several by-products, including ethane, butane, propane, nitrogen, helium, and carbon dioxide. However, there are also those who frown on its use and believe that it greatly contributes to the destruction of the environment. It produces around 30 percent less carbon dioxide than oil and 45 percent less CO2 than coal; in , for instance, natural gas produced only 6, metric tons of CO2 while petroleum and coal produced 11, and 13, metric tons, respectively.
Natural gas has been in the news a lot lately, being hailed as the solution to our energy problems on the one hand, and a potential environmental nightmare on the other. Let's try to sort out the reality behind this old friend with a new face. Before we start, it might be useful to make a distinction between the natural gas that has historically been collected as a byproduct of oil drilling and the more recently promoted source known as shale gas. This has become newsworthy as the result of an enormous deposit of shale gas discovered in the Marcellus field extending across large sections of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York. Shale gas requires a much more aggressive method of collection since it is buried deep in the earth under many layers of shale.