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To Frack or Not to Frack

A recent ruling by the New York Supreme Court, gave small towns in the state the right to ban the combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling known as fracking. This ruling may apply to local governments across the state, but it is likely to spread nationally as many local governments fight to slow or ban the national shift toward gas production in the U.S. This ruling could seriously impact natural gas supplies in the short-term, but so far the market hasn’t reflected any major concerns. The long-term impact is still being studied.

Currently, states like Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Wyoming are benefiting the most from the natural gas boom. But a handful of states currently have legislation on the table that could ban or limit fracking and the disposal of fracking waste. These states include California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan and North Carolina. Even a few of the states enjoying the economic benefits of fracking like Ohio and Pennsylvania have a few activist groups fighting to control the amount of fracking taking place.

While environmentalist´s claim that fracking can cause groundwater contamination, soil contamination, sickness, and disease, those in favor of fracking cite the economic benefits to the states and local governments in terms of greater tax revenue. Consumers are also benefitting from the high natural gas supply in the form of lower heating and cooling costs. The natural gas…

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