Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a high-pressure technique for cracking rocks and allowing natural gas to reach wells. Amid a boom in U.S. natural gas production, industry promises that fracking will bring Americans jobs and low-cost energy for decades. Opponents warn that the drilling-and-fracking process threatens to pollute air, surface water, and most importantly, groundwater. Will these concerns stymie an ongoing boom in natural gas production? Should they?
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- Review: What exactly is hydraulic fracturing?
- Why is fracking becoming popular now?
- What is the difference between unconventional and conventional gas?
- What are the environmental and economic costs and benefits of fracking?
- Discuss: In terms of costs and benefits, how does unconventional gas compare to coal, wind, nuclear and solar energy?
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