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26 April 2013
Geophysicist challenges fracking’s bad rep
Mark Zoback, a geophysicist at Stanford University, cringes at the word “fracking”. He doesn’t oppose this controversial process of extracting fossil fuels from shale rock, or hydraulic fracturing. He just laments the stigma of its nickname.
4 December 2012
Hydrofracturing brings out the tough bugs
Opponents of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” often voice concerns about chemicals leaking into the groundwater supply and making people sick. But what about the microbes that call fracturing fluid their home?
28 June 2012
Fracking in the United States: Scientists’ research addresses multiple concerns
From 2000 to 2010, improvements to a gas-drilling technology known as hydraulic fracturing have helped produce more domestic natural gas than in any other decade in U.S. history. While “fracking” has helped reduce natural gas prices and U.S. dependence on foreign supplies, the procedure is surrounded with contention concerning human and environmental health. “There are adverse environmental changes that occur with hydraulic fracturing,” said Richard Hammack who is the Coordinator of Natural Systems Monitoring for the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) – a collaborator of the U.S Geological Survey (USGS). “And part of our job is to find ways to mitigate those either through different management techniques or through development of new and better technology.”