What is Fracking?

Fracking Is Unlocking Huge Energy Resources

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking, has proven to be a safe, well-tested technology that has enabled the U.S. to dramatically increase unconventional oil and natural gas production. Fracking has been performed in more than 1.7 million wells since 1947 with an exemplary safety record.

EPA has affirmed repeatedly during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations that there have been no documented cases of contamination of drinking water from hydraulic fracturing. Despite a 2004 study showing no contamination and lacking evidence of any contamination, EPA conducted yet another study of hydraulic fracturing, which was published in 2015. Once again, EPA concluded that hydraulic fracturing has not led to "widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources."

Facts on Fracking

Hydraulic Fracturing in Utah

  1. Fracking has been safely used since 1947.
  2. More than 1.7 million wells have been fracked in the United States.
  3. More than 90% of all oil and natural gas wells are fracked.
  4. Neither the EPA nor any state regulator have ever found a case of contamination of underground drinking water caused by the fracking process.
  5. Before a well is fracked, several separate layers of cement and steel are installed to protect groundwater.
  6. Fracking fluid is about 99.5% water and sand. The rest is a mixture of chemicals similar to household products found under the kitchen sink or in the garage.
  7. Operators disclose the chemicals used in fracking on FracFocus.org or in accordance with state regulation.
  8. The entire oil and natural gas industry, including fracking, represents about .025% of total U.S. water use.
  9. Fracking has successfully unlocked domestic oil and natural gas deposits so vast that the United States leads the world in total oil and natural gas production.
  10. The oil and natural gas industry generates $1.3 trillion for the U.S. economy and supports 10.3 million jobs.

Successful State Regulation

States have successfully regulated fracking for over 60 years with exemplary safety records. In 2016, IPAA and Western Energy Alliance along with several states won a significant legal victory when the Wyoming District Court ruled that only states, not the federal government, have authority to regulate fracking. The judge’s decision has prevented the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) hydraulic fracturing rule from going into effect. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has since dismissed an appeal to that ruling, and the Trump Administration has completed a rulemaking that withdraws the 2015 rule.  IPAA and Western Energy Alliance are helping BLM defend that rule in court.