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Not All It's Fracked Up to Be

Not All It's Fracked Up to Be

Credit: US Energy Information Administration
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tight_natural_gas_plays_in_the_lower_48_states_of_the_USA.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

If you live over or near the pink on the map, you’re near a potential fracking site. Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, uses water to extract natural gas from solid rock.

News You Can Use

Our insatiable hunger for fossil fuels is being increasingly fed with natural gas. Using natural gas has a lot of advantages. Natural gas burns more cleanly than petroleum. There is a lot of it. Rather than being mostly in the Middle East, tremendous reserves are located in the United States and Canada. This is very desirable politically. Advances in technology – fracking - have made it easier than ever to get the gas out of the ground. For these and other reasons, the United States, Canada and other nations are experiencing a natural gas boom.

Explore More

With the link below, learn more about fracking. Then answer the following questions.

  1. Why is natural gas better for the environment than petroleum?
  2. Why is fracking needed to get the gas out of the shale?
  3. Why is fracking potentially harmful to the water system?
  4. How does natural gas from fracking contribute to global warming? How can that be prevented?
  5. What could explain the increase in small earthquakes in regions where there is fracking?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: US Energy Information Administration; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tight_natural_gas_plays_in_the_lower_48_states_of_the_USA.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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