June 8, 2012
By Brittany Hoover
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as it’s known, carries with it certain risks, but some experts say the benefits and dollars outweigh environmental concerns.
Fracking consists of injecting large amounts of water mixed with sand and chemicals at high pressure to break up rock formations far below the Earth’s surface to release gas and oil.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is looking into potential dangers related to the process, such as contaminated drinking water and air pollution.
The EPA is conducting a study to determine the impact of fracking on drinking water and should release preliminary findings later this year with a full study on tap for release by 2014....
Bernard L. Weinstein, associate director, Maguire Energy Institute at the Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business, said, “Though the U.S. natural gas industry has safely managed the hydraulic fracturing process for more than 50 years, environmental activists and alternative-fuel lobbies have been hyping its risks for several years and pressuring the Obama administration to engage the Environmental Protection Agency in overseeing shale gas extraction. Yet, there is not one verifiable instance of properly performed hydraulic fracturing causing direct harm to communities or individuals.”