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Managing the Risks of Hydraulic Fracturing

December 10, 2014

Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has made it possible to unlock large quantities of natural gas and liquid hydrocarbons—fuels that can be used to access new and significant quantities of unconventional gas with consequent economic benefits.

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Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has made it possible to unlock large quantities of natural gas and liquid hydrocarbons—fuels that can be used to access new and significant quantities of unconventional gas with consequent economic benefits. Fracking poses minimal risks to water quality, air quality, and ecosystem health. It does, however increase greenhouse gas emissions under certain conditions can lead to seismic activitys. While, all technologies pose risk, the question is do the benefits outweight does risk. With any new procedure, new knowledge is gained through experimentation; thus, bans and moratoria on fracking would decrease our knowledge base. Policymakers should ignore simplistic solutions to the potential risks posed by fracking, bans and moratoria, since they simply defer risks until later and the benefits from fracking will be foregone in the meantime.

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Energy Environment