March 2, 2011
The technique called hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) that is increasingly being used to extract natural gas is drawing widespread attention, concern, and media coverage across the country. Next up: oil fracking.
As fracking for gas has proven successful from an industry perspective, companies extracting oil are jumping on the fracking bandwagon. Their method is very similar to that used for natural gas, and therefore may pose some of the same health and environmental risks. Oil fracking is already occurring or being explored in many states and in Canada (including CA, CO, KS, MT, ND, NE, NM, TX, WY, and Saskatchewan), after it took hold in 2007, and likely will continue to expand considerably in volume and location in the near future. Some experts are saying it could reduce US oil imports by half within a decade.