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After several weeks of intense research in print, broadcast and online media, I have discovered that hydraulic fracturing is not a new technology. In fact, it dates to the beginning of time. Invented by Beelzebub himself, it was initially intended to blow up, poison or otherwise do-in God-fearing folks worldwide. Its application to increase oil and gas production was discovered accidently, eons later, in the late 1940s.
This view has been refuted by a recent study of hydraulic fracturing released by the Energy Institute at The University of Texas at Austin (http://energy.utexas.edu). According to the Energy Institute, “The goal of the research is to provide policymakers with a fact-based foundation upon which they can formulate rational regulatory policies that ensure responsible shale gas development.” The report examines a number of issues related to shale gas development, including groundwater contamination, toxicity of fracturing fluids, surface spills, atmospheric emissions, water use, drilling waste disposal, blowouts, and road traffic and noise. A bit more about these issues later.
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