The Environmental Costs and Benefits of Fracking

This report synthesizes the research from over 100 academic studies and government databases to examine the environmental impacts of unconventional energy extraction and hydraulic fracturing. It describes production estimates and decline curves for oil and gas wells, as well as their water requirements and water intensities. Subsequent sections discuss fracking’s impacts on seismic activity, water contamination, and air quality. The report concludes with a description of various pollutants that are emitted throughout the stages of gas extraction, production, and processing. Recommendations for further research on each of the report’s topics are embedded throughout.