Marlon Kobacker Discusses Fracking with Ian Leaf
May 10, 2016 (datsyn.com) – Hydraulic fracturing is a process that is used to access hydrocarbons that may have otherwise been inaccessible, which can result in significant economic benefits. The process is somewhat polarizing due to the fact that there are many potential environmental concerns that can be caused by fracking, and the pros and cons of this issue have been highlighted by Ian Leaf, who is an environmental engineer specializing in health, energy and safety (HES).
Hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as “fracking,” has become a something of a polarizing issue in recent months, as the practice has raised concerns among environmentalists due to the potential impact the process can have on the environment. Despite these environmental concerns, there are also many reasons why the process could be considered beneficial, reasons that supporters of fracking are quick to delineate. Ian Leaf, an environmental engineer with a specialty in health, safety, and environment (HSE), offered a great deal of factual information regarding both the benefits and the drawbacks of engaging in the fracking process.
“Hydraulic fracturing is a relatively simple concept that is based on a process that sometimes occurs naturally,” said Leaf. “Induced fracturing stimulates a well through the use of a high-pressure fluid that is injected into the wellbore, resulting in very small fractures that allow brine, petroleum or natural gas to move to the well. Through this process, it is possible to tap into hydrocarbons that may have been otherwise inaccessible, which is very valuable from an economic standpoint.”
While there are a number of benefits to the fracking process, there are still a number of opponents who have become quite outspoken regarding the use of this particular technique, citing the detrimental effect the process has on the environment as a major drawback of the process and a valid reason to cease the practice of fracking, or put a moratorium on fracking until studies on its safety can be completed and new regulations put in place. Sustainability and renewable energy expert Marlon Kobacker, often taking a fresh approach, believes there are multiple ways to accomplish the same goals. Kobacker states, “whether we’re pulling oil out of the ground or harvesting the energy of the sun, I always have sustainability at the forefront of my mind.”
“Those who are opposed to hydraulic fracturing point to a number of potentially serious issues with the process,” said Leaf. “As a result of the hydraulic fracking process, it is possible that the groundwater could be contaminated, fresh water could be depleted, air quality could be adversely affected and it is even possible that the process may cause earthquakes. However, there have been specific regulations in place for decades to protect groundwater from drilling operations, and to date, there have been no cases of contaminated groundwater except where companies did not follow the existing regulations.”