The social problem I am looking to incorporate is that of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”. Fracking is the process of shooting a mixture of chemicals down a well as a means to break up rock and release the oil or natural gas contained below, thus “fracturing” the rock to make the resource of interest more accessible. The social problem with fracking is that intense health and safety concerns involved with the process. The mixture of chemicals is typically incredibly toxic and has a tendency to leak through the well and get into the groundwater supply, when the process is performed shoddily. The contaminants can lead to cancer or other health issues to those drawing water up from the aquifer near the site, not to mention the risk of explosion or the amount of water the actual process requires.

For this social problem, I will embody Ann, as I feel her character, as portrayed in Red Mars, would act as a fine conduit through which I can better strengthen my project.

The form my character study will take, at this point in time, would be an email conversation between Ann and Sax as the two discuss their sides of my social problem. The genre will be that of “electronic communication”. This genre was selected due to the immense amounts of conversations that take place within the novel, while also putting Ann in a position to defend her stance, something she has to do multiple times across the pages.

Preliminary Bibliography

Osborn, Stephen G., Avner Vengosh, Nathaniel R. Warner, and Robert B. Jackson. “Methane Contamination of Drinking Water Accompanying Gas-well Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing.” PNAS 108 (2011): 8172-176. Web. 21 Nov. 2015.

Anderson, Brooklynn J., and Gene L. Theodori. “LOCAL LEADERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF ENERGY DEVELOPMENT IN THE BARNETT SHALE.” Southern Rural Sociology 24 (2009): 113-29. Web. 21 Nov. 2015.

Cooley, Heather, and Kristina Donnelly. “Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Resources: Separating the Frack from the Fiction.” Pacific Institute (2011): n. pag. Web. 21 Nov. 2015.

Pontius, Fred. “Hydraulic Fracturing: Is Regulation Needed?” Journal AWWA (2009): n. pag. AWWA. Web. 21 Nov. 2015.

Dillon, Michael. “Water Fracturing and Water Scarcity in Pennsylvania.” Temple Law Review 84 (2011): n. pag. Heinonline. Web. 22 Nov. 2015.

Vengosh, Avner, Robert B. Jackson, Nathaniel Warner, Thomas H. Durrah, and Andrew Kondash. “A Critical Review of the Risks to Water Resources from Unconventional Shale Gas Development and Hydraulic Fracturing in the United States.” Environmental Science & Technology 48 (2014): 8334-348. ACS Publications. Web. 22 Nov. 2015.

Craig, Robin Kundis. “Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking), Federalism, and the Water-Energy Nexus.” Idaho Law Review 49 (2012): n. pag. Heinonline. Web. 22 Nov. 2015.