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    Posted January 3, 2012 by
    Chicago, Illinois

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    Hydraulic Fracturing: Here's the Drill


    Like many issues regarding energy policy, the rumors and facts that surround the process of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” as it is known in popular media, have become interspersed to the point of confusion for any average citizen. But before jumping to any conclusion about the righteousness or disadvantages of fracking, it is worth a deeper examination of what the process of hydraulic fracturing is actually meant to accomplish. The goal of fracking is actually to target shale reserves both domestically and in practice abroad, shale being a type of sedimentary rock that contains kerogen, from which shale oil can be produced. For definitive information on what shale oil is, how it is created and globally located, and what its characteristics are, plenty of good information can be found here on its Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_shale



    Much of the debate surrounding the process of fracking is centered around potential environmental consequences, but the drama that frequently is evoked by environmental debates helps to overshadow some of the positive realities of fracking and as a result, shale oil as a natural resource. For example, particularly in dire economic times such as those faced by many local and state governments, the private investments and economic development spearheaded by companies developing fracking sites can be an economic boon in the form of jobs, spending, and infrastructure investment. Furthermore, by transitioning to more domestic oil production of any type, we can begin to remove our cumbersome burden on foreign oil by focusing on fracking on sites right here in the United States, allowing both investment and profits to benefit domestic markets and not untrustworthy foreign commercial and civic bodies. For more information on fracking, here are a few further resource sites to check out:


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14432401 A definitive look into the facts and information behind shale oil extraction, this report from the BBC goes into great detail on both the environmental and economic impacts of fracking. Good resource for a quick briefing on the political realities surrounding fracking.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_fracturing The fracking Wikipedia page is a great resource for the science and terminology behind the actual process of hydraulic fracturing, from which the term “fracking” originated as a nickname. Also gives good detail on the role shale oil plays in the actual fracking process.


    http://www.propublica.org/series/fracking This site is a good aggregator of news stories and editorials from a wide variety of media exploring both shale oil and the fracking process. The site is a wealthy resource of current and practical information to learn more about the process of hydraulic fracturing.


    Other good sites include http://www.what-is-fracking.com


    Before jumping to any conclusions about hydraulic fracturing or shale oil development and production, it is a benefit to any energy consumer and political citizen to become well-informed about the issue. These aforementioned sites, as well as the myriad of resources available through search engines like Google, should be a must-visit before taking action on the issue. And furthermore, with the growing propensity in the media to sensationalize issues like this one, getting the facts about the potential positive economic effects of fracking can only benefit any continuing dialogue about policy and initiatives regarding hydraulic fracturing in the future.

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