The use of hydraulic fracturing for high-volume oil and gas production presents the nation with large opportunities that may come with dire consequences to the state of the environment.
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For one thing, pursuing developments in this area of the energy industry could generate thousands of jobs. Meanwhile, the abundant supply of domestically produced oil and gas can be used to offer alternatives that could help them recover faster from the effects of the recession. There may also be more than enough supply, thus opening up opportunities for export.
However, those who oppose the use of fracking to produce natural gas point out that the effects of the process are still unclear. Many studies need to be conducted to determine the health and environmental impact of fracking because many fear that it could cause pollution and it may significantly deplete water resources.
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While the debate goes on, lawmakers in Illinois have gone ahead with a measure to create strict regulations for high-volume oil and gas drilling. The legislation was created through collaboration between some key players in the energy industry and an environmental group.
Strict regulations are seen as a way for the energy industry to move ahead and take advantage of the opportunity presented by the abundant supply of natural gas in several areas while taking measures to protect the environment and the health of the people.
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Dr. Ali Ghalambor is the author, co-author, and editor of several books and more than 160 technical articles and manuals that discuss various aspects of petroleum production. Find more updates on the developments in the energy industry on this Twitter page.