How does fracking create negative externalities?

1 Answer
Mar 16, 2016

Fracking creates negative externalities by

a. reducing the air quality of the region 'fracked'

b. contaminating the surrounding water supply as a result of increased methane gases

c. causing many earthquakes.


An externality is defined as, #" a consequence of economic or industrial activity."#

Fracking is an industrial activity where water is injected at high pressure into rocks, and the ground. This process has been debated for years since it has many drawbacks that environmentalists oppose. However, it is an effective technique to receive underground oils and gases, so businesses continue to use fracking.

How does fracking create negative externalities?
Fracking releases natural gases into the air, reducing the air quality in the surroundings. There is research done from Utah and Colorado showing that fracking has polluted the ozone layer. This is hazardous for humans living close to a fracking site, and can cause lung diseases.

Fracking sometimes releases natural gases into nearby water supplies, contaminating what can be freshwater. It has been shown that near fracking sites humans taste water that is foul. Also, the chemical liquid used in the hydraulic fracking machinery contaminates the water supply. Again, this is hazardous to humans, as well as any organisms in the water.

Since fracking splits apart the ground below, it has also been known as a catalyst to earthquakes. The 2014 Annual Reviews of Environment and Resources claimed that geologists noticed a trend, where the discovery of natural gases increased the average number of earthquakes annually.

I hope this may have helped you!