This article discusses the fracking industry after 10 years. It isn’t pretty.
When oil and gas developers began using hydraulic fracturing to tap previously unaccessed sources of fossil fuels across the United States, the American public had a few questions.
Will this process pollute drinking water? Will it cause cancer in the communities close to well sites? What are the ramifications for global climate change?
Hydraulic fracturing — or fracking, as it is more commonly known — is just one small part of the broader process of unconventional oil and gas development. The extraction technique, popularized about a decade ago, has helped unlock hydrocarbons trapped in tight shale formations, spawning a vast web of rigs, wells and energy infrastructure across the country.
Every element of that network carries its own risks for water contamination, air pollution, health and climate change. Scientists have, in some cases, been able to distill the likelihood and severity of those risks.
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