A natural gas boom is underway in America, but how safe is the extraction process known as fracking?
In a time of energy uncertainty and scarcity, nearly a quarter of American power now comes from natural gas.
And more and more of that gas is produced by hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”
High-pressure facturing, deep underground. Fracking is a boon to production. And fracking is a hot button issue, with opponents charging frightening environmental damage.
We’ve come to the edge of fracking country today, to look at the latest science and at community response to a huge energy push.
This hour On Point: on the edge of the Marcellus Shale, we’re looking at “fracking.”
- Tom Ashbrook
Here are some behind-the-scenes photos from today’s second hour, courtesy of Mark Vogelzang, the station manager at WBFO Buffalo.
We’ve put together a cheat sheet on fracking for listeners to brush up on their drilling tech vocabulary. You can find it here.
Here’s a map of the continent’s natural gas and oil resources, as compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Another map from the same agency shows gas deposits in the lower 48 states and parts of Canada.
This diagram shows how natural gas is used.