Separating the Frack from the Fiction: Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Resources

Article by Heather Cooley from Pacific Institute
Published in Volume 22, Number 3, 2012 Edition of River Voices, A River Network Publication

Recent data shows that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy use in the United States have dropped to a 20-year low, driven in part by falling natural gas prices that prompted power plant operators to switch from coal to natural gas.

Energy analysts, including the United States Energy Information Administration (U.S. EIA), project that the United States will become increasingly reliant on natural gas. According to U.S. EIA estimates released in January 2012, natural gas production is projected to increase by nearly 30% over the next 25 years, from 22 trillion cubic feet in 2010 to 28 trillion cubic feet in 2035. By 2021, the United States is projected to be a net exporter of natural gas.

What is Natural Gas and Where Can It Be Found?
Like all fossil fuels, natural gas originates from organic matter buried under the Earth’s surface. Heat, pressure and bacteria turned this organic matter into oil. In especially deep and hot regions underground, this oil then turned into natural gas.

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