Fracking 101: Debate On Hydraulic Fracturing Riles Up New England


The United States is in the middle of a natural gas boom.  This is largely because of fracking, the controversial method for using pressurized fluids to break up rocks to get at the natural gas below.

There’s a fracking ban in Vermont, and one being considered in Massachusetts. These are states that don’t necessarily have the right geology for natural gas extraction as it works now, but – for some – there are other concerns: Will waste water be dumped in the region? Will a new pipeline cut through here?

We’re taking a closer look at hydraulic fracturing or fracking, this manner of drilling and extracting gas from rock, using a mix of water, sand and chemicals. To try to understand all of this better, we listen to commentators Alan Weisman and Michael Lynch. Then we turn to reporter Kate Galbraith. She’s covered energy issues for the New York Times and the Texas Tribune.