Science And The Fracking Boom: Missing Answers

A technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has kicked off an energy boom in the United States. Fracking lets drillers unlock vast reservoirs of natural gas that were previously inaccessible. Over the past decade, about 200,000 gas wells have been drilled across the country.

And whether in Colorado, Texas or Pennsylvania, people living on the front step of the natural gas boom have the same questions: What kinds of pollutants are entering our water and air, and are those pollutants making us sick? Explore key components of the natural gas production process — and the questions scientists are asking.

  • What's In The Air?
  • What's In The Water?
  • Health: Chemicals To Watch

Credit: Ted Burnham, Christopher Joyce, Jon Hamilton, Stephanie d'Otreppe, Elizabeth Shogren, Vikki Valentine for NPR.

Illustrations: Penn State Public Broadcasting

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