Hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking”, takes place in tight rock formations beneath the earth’s surface, often more than a mile underground. Monitored wells are designed to protect groundwater, with multiple layers of steel and cement, microphones placed to confirm fracture locations, and water management associated with hydraulic fracturing operations. The Environmental Protection Agency has stated hydraulic fracturing activities “have not led to widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water resources”. While creating a well only takes a few weeks, this enables the source to produce oil for decades. Fracking can be done in a safe and environmentally responsible way, with industry groups helping to develop guidelines and best practices to ensure safe and responsible development.
Developed in the 1940s, fracking has helped make oil and natural gas the fastest-growing energy source in the United States. Natural gas from shale is expected to increase to over 60% of total domestic gas production by 2040. Fracking and natural gas from shale help cut net imports of crude oil, lowering fuel prices for American consumers and contributing to decreasing household energy costs for the average consumer. With 60 percent of US energy demand met through oil and natural gas, hydraulic fracturing helps ensure this demand is met and that American consumers have affordable and reliable energy.