Homework help > Should Hydrofracking Be Permitted? Please use: -... > Published by: Steve 4 years ago
By: Steve
Subject: Philosophy

Should Hydrofracking Be Permitted? Please use: - Principle - Rights - Theory - Value - Ideal - Intentions - Consequences - Responsible .... in the paper. You may also incorporate Laissez-Faire, De Jure, Deregulation if needed. Ethics is mainly concerned with what the human person should do, with what his or her action or conduct should be... ethics is that practical philosophic stud ...[Show More]

4 years ago

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The increase in the number of cars, airplanes, and ships insinuate that the demand for oil and oil products will keep on increasing. Even though the world is looking for alternative sources of energy, oil is still the primary product in use. The availability of significant barrels of oil in the shale means that the attention shifts on this new oil reserve. The oil products deposit available in Shale reserve, which the U.S expects to drill, is much more than what the nation drilled from the previous reserves in the past decades. The new drilling technique of hydraulic fracking is used in drilling natural gas from these dense shale formations. Hydraulic fracturing method uses water and chemicals additives to fractures the shale rock (Hamidi, 2014). The process of drilling natural gas is first by drilling vertically and then horizontally. Subsequently, the drillers burrow into the shale rock causing fractures. Next, the drillers release “proppant” that ensure constant outflow of oil and gas. Nevertheless, environmentalists have been against the use of Hydrofracking technique in natural gas extraction (Mazur, 2016). However, is this technique ethical? What is its primary intention? Does it uphold responsibility? Does it have consequences? Is there a right to extract minerals using this methodology? This paper will answer all the above questions on the Hydrofracking extraction technique. Should Hydrofracking be permitted? Studies show that the use of Hydrofracking as an extraction method improves the economics of extracting natural gas from the shale reserves. The findings mean that the U.S would have enough reserves to carry them through a considerable time before they discover an alternative source of energy. However, in my opinion, Hydrofracking is a dangerous mineral extraction technique that should be outlawed. First, the right to extract mineral using this method is unlawful. Several key environmental Acts provides exemptions to the use of hydrofracking in the extraction of natural gases. One of the key statutes that provide an exemption on this extraction method is the Safe Drinking Water Act. The SDWA Act of 1974 protects the quality of drinking water either on the ground or beneath. The law prohibits underground injection, a process used by the method to extract natural gas from shale reserves. However, the study carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave a controversial finding on Hydrofracking. The result was that it does not pose any health issue on the underground water. Nevertheless, a chemical like methanol used to crack the rock is harmful to people. This possibility is if it finds its way to the underground water for consumption. In a controversial twist, environmentalists and concerned public linked the exemption of hydrofracking, as an illegal mining method to the former Vice President Dick Cheney. In the revelation, the groups understood that the move to exclude the water contamination mining process was primarily because of the ties between the former Vice President and the Halliburton Company. The giant extraction firm patented the hydrofracking technique. Federal states should not permit Hydrofracking in the extraction of minerals while banning other similar techniques. The process is equally dangerous to the environment. Moreover, on ethical grounds, the Federal states should not have permitted the use of hydrofracking technique in mineral extraction. Ethics concentrates on the question of how a person has to act in accordance with the expectation of the society. The Environmental Protection Agency decision to exempt this method as an example of underground water contamination process was against the Aristotelian ethics. As per Aristotelian ethics (Santas, 2014), the federal agency was supposed to do the right thing by listing the extraction process as one of the dangerous mining processes and avoid doing wrong. The process of listing hydrofracking as a dangerous practice, because of its underground use of chemicals could not come naturally to EPA. However, the federal agency was supposed to practice justice from its numerous decisions and this would have constituted a moral virtue. In continuation, the hydrofracking technique goes against the Kantian ethics. This reason is enough for relevant authorities to stop the use of hydrofracking as a mining technique. According to Kant, it is unethical to consider the consequence of an action before determining whether the action was right or wrong (Bowie, 2017). Hydrofracking is bound to bring devastating effects in the environment, with this phenomenon being enough to limit its use. The natural gas drilling method is wrong and there is no reason to test whether it will have some consequence before declaring whether it was morally wrong. The owners of drilling firm are aware of its devastating effects on the environment. However, they are waiting for a full blow effect to occur before agreeing that indeed the process was not morally right. The owners of the mining techniques rely on Utilitarianism in conducting their business. Moreover, a mining company using this methodology deviates from their responsibility and duty to protect the environment. This fact is enough for the relevant authorities to desist permitting these firms to use this technique in the mining of natural gas. As per the Deontological ethics, a person must do the right thing because it is the right thing to do (Trevino, 2016). On the other hand, they must avoid doing the wrong thing because it is wrong. One of the Deontologists moral rules is that a person should not kill innocent people. Deontological ethics calls for individuals to do the right thing even though it may produce a bad outcome. However, in the case of companies using the hydrofracking technique, they are aware that what they are doing is wrong but they only focus on the good outcome. The profitability level after using the hydrofracking technique is huge but the process leaves devastating effects on the environment. Additionally, the mining companies using hydrofracking method go against Hume’s theory. The philosopher argued that benevolence is an important moral character individual should pose. However, firms using hydrofracking method do not practice beneficence. The reason for this allegation is that the action of drilling the natural gas is not for the benefit of the population around the mining sites. Typically, drilling companies practice corporate responsibility when their operation is for the benefit of all stakeholders. One of the stakeholders of these firms are people living in the areas of their business operations. Conducting business without the care of the surrounding population means that these companies’ operations are unethical. Corporate responsibility is ranked high among consumers, who might refuse to purchase their commodities because they do not care for their welfare. Lastly, companies that use hydrofracking to drill natural gas are the chief contributors of greenhouse gases from its operations. The methane gases from the extraction of natural gas, in addition, the access to the previously untouched carbon reserves increase the volume of the greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases are the primary causes of global warming. The global warming condition is a situation where the earth’s temperature gradually increases because of human activities. Consequently, the Ozone layer is damaged exposing the earth to U.V rays. The underlining effect of global warming is the melting in the Arctic region, leading to the increase in floods in the coastal areas. Moreover, the earth starts experiencing erratic weather patterns like El Nino and La Nina. Additionally, the global warming effect of because of the activities of these companies is the extinction of some animals. Increase in global temperatures creates more deserts in areas previously under forest covers. This condition means that animals that used to call those areas home will die because of lack of food. Separately, the activities of these companies cause small earthquakes. The flow of chemicals through the fractures and its release in the surface causes minor earthquakes. Conclusion Hydrofracking mining technique is one of the modern methodologies that guarantee profitability during the natural gas exploration. The primary aim of engaging in mining activities is to reduce the cost and maximize output. All of these advantages are exhibited by Hydrofracking mining technique. The laws governing its usage are unlawful because its implementation is purposeful to benefit few individuals at the expense of the entire population. Furthermore, the mining process is marred by ethical issues, which question its purpose and whether it cares for profitability only. Nevertheless, what is evident is that the method is not appropriate since it is against key ethical principles in society.   Reference Hamidi, F., & Mortazavi, A. (2014). A new three dimensional approach to numerically model hydraulic fracturing process. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 124, 451-467. Mazur, A. (2016). How did the fracking controversy emerge in the period 2010-2012?. Public Understanding of Science, 25(2), 207-222. Santas, A. (2014). Aristotelian Ethics and Biophilia. Ethics & the Environment, 19(1), 95-121. Bowie, N. E. (2017). Business ethics: A Kantian perspective. Cambridge University Press. Trevino, L. K., & Nelson, K. A. (2016). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right. John Wiley & Sons.

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