Blog 12 – Outline

Thesis: Hydraulic fracturing ought to be regulated federally.



Explain what hydraulic fracturing is. Introduce the term, “fracking.”

State thesis and support with reasons. Explain why fracking is not regulated (or rather that it is, but by the states)


Supporting Paragraph:

Reason 1: State legislatures do not regulate hydraulic fracturing well enough

Evidence: The fracking companies do not have to disclose what is in their fracking fluid (except in a state or two).

Evidence: Left up to the states, there is no consistency in the fracking industry

Evidence: States do not require an EIS or even EA since that is a requirement of the EPA and NEPA, national/federal agency and act


Supporting Paragraph:

Reason 3: Hydraulic fracturing operations do not require an Environmental Impact Statement, or even an Environmental Assessment

Evidence: States do not require assessment of environmental impacts because they are federally mandated laws

Evidence: Potential land, drinking water, watershed, river, and land degradation. All of this goes unchecked so our environment may be suffering, too. – Exempt from CWA and CAA.

Evidence: NEPA would require that the public be involved in the planning process and evaluation process of potential fracking sites. If fracking affects the people, they have a right to be involved.

Evidence: NEPA requires an EIS for anything that causes a “significant impact.” – fracking wells are drilled a mile deep (down) and up to a few miles horizontally (parallel with the ground, but a mile underneath the surface). This is significant on its own, but there is also significant impact caused by injecting unnatural things into the ground. New research is also pointing out earthquakes caused by fracking – another significant impact.


Supporting Paragraph:

Reason 2: Hydraulic fracturing may be contaminating drinking water

Evidence: Gasland – explain the movie and why there was a need to make it.

Evidence: Case studies and/or testimonials from those living near and affected by fracking

Evidence: Fracking companies do not have to disclose what they put into the ground and their system so the public and indeed the rest of the nation cannot ever say, “there is a direct correlation between contaminated drinking water and hydraulic fracturing activities” because there is no definite. – Exempt from Clean Water Act.


Objection from Opposition: There is no proof that fracking causes contaminated drinking water.

Rebuttal: Without disclosure of what they put into our lands, it is true that we cannot draw a provable conclusion that water contamination is due to their efforts.

Evidence to support rebuttal: Lack of transparency in fracking fluid compositions

Evidence to support rebuttal: fracking companies are unwilling to conduct their own research on the effects of the fracking process.

Evidence to support rebuttal: If fracking was federally regulated, the fracking industry would be required to disclose everything going into the earth, as well as how they extract the shale gas, and what they do with the fracking well when drilling is complete.


Objection from Opposition: the US has an abundance of shale gas (natural gas). Drilling for it will help to relieve the country of foreign energy dependence.

Rebuttal: Our first-world nation ought to be focusing on switching to clean forms of energy

Evidence to support rebuttal: The US also used to have an abundance of trees and wilderness – now we have cities

Evidence to support rebuttal: Drilling for natural gas is a band-aid solution that will give us energy for some amount of time, but like oil, it is finite.

Evidence to support rebuttal: Various forms of clean energy – discuss a few and why they’re “better” than fracking – show transparency



Reiterate the thesis. Use pathos to tug on heart strings – think of your children….

Ask for readers to continue research and push them to petition for fracking industry transparency. Remind audience that energy is not free and there is an almost intangible cost associated with its retrieval, production, and use – the cost of a clean future, particularly in the natural resources of our nation.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by bkvandok on November 17, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    I really like the style of your outline because while it may be a sensitive topic, you are taking a stance and sticking with it, which shows you are confident. John is also discussing hydrolic fracturing and he used a Rogerian method. I believe your method is effective because I believe a majority of people would not disagree with you. I believe that there are few against saving the environment or at least helping it, so I think using a more attacking method is appropriate.


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