What is fracking?

The oil and gas industry has been revolutionized in the last decade by a technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or hydro-fracking, or simply "fracking."

This technique now accounts for nearly one-third of domestic natural gas production, up from 2 percent a decade ago, and is credited with cutting consumer energy bills and reducing U.S. dependence on imported oil. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says shale deposits could account for nearly half of natural gas production by 2035. The process, used widely in Pennsylvania, Texas, North Dakota and Canada, has also triggered a frac-sand mining boom in the Upper Midwest.

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Sources: U.S. Geological Survey

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