Fracking in Arizona

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Fracking in Arizona
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Fracking in Arizona depends on available energy resources, the location of these resources, applicable laws and regulations, politics, and the power of environmental and industry groups. Decisions by policymakers and citizens, including state and local governments and ballot initiatives, affect if and how fracking occurs in a state.

According to a 2012 piece in Arizona Geology Magazine, fracking occurs rarely in Arizona due to the fact that there are no shale-gas wells in the state. In the 15-year period preceding the publication of this article, only ten wells were hydraulically fractured, and all of these were fracked not for shale-gas, but for carbon dioxide gas.[2]

Fracking background

See also: Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," is the process of injecting fluid--mostly water and sand, but with additional chemicals--into the ground at a high pressure to fracture shale rocks and release the oil and natural gas inside.

Recent technological advances in oil and gas drilling--horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing--have created a wealth of opportunities and challenges for states with fossil fuel reserves that can be accessed through the combination of these two technologies. The increased use of fracking has been an economic boon for many states, not only those with fracking, but also those with supporting industries, such as frac sand mining or associated machinery manufacturing.

Opponents of fracking argue that the potential negative environmental and human health impacts could be significant. Although wells have been fracked for over 65 years in the United States, concerns have been raised about whether federal, state and local regulatory agencies can keep up with the recent rapid increase in fracking activity, and adequately protect the environment and human health. As with any type of energy extraction, either traditional or renewable, there are economic, environmental and political tradeoffs.

Natural gas use in Arizona

For more information on energy consumption in Arizona see, "Energy policy in Arizona"

Arizona produces only a tiny fraction of U.S. natural gas and significant new drilling activity is not occurring or planned. One-third of residents use natural gas as their primary home heating fuel and so the state must import natural gas to meet demand. An interstate pipeline from New Mexico helps supply the state's demands. Pipeline companies that move the gas from the production area to local utilities and through to other states include: El Paso Natural Gas Co., Questar Pipeline Co., Southwest Gas Corp. and Transwestern Pipeline Co. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates the rates these companies charge, the services they provide to the local distribution centers (LDCs) and the construction of new pipelines.[3][4][5]

Consumption of energy for heating homes in Arizona
Source Arizona 2011 U.S. average 2011
Natural gas 34.5% 49.5%
Fuel oil 0.0% 6.5%
Electricity 59.1% 35.4%
Liquid Petroleum Gases (LPG) 3% 5%
Other/none 3.3% 3.6%


Where electricity comes from in Arizona[3]
Type Amount generated (MWh) % of state** % of U.S.**
Petroleum-fired 7,000 0.1% 0.02%
Natural gas-fired 1,303,000 17.98% 0.13%
Coal-fired 3,392,000 46.82% 0.2%
Nuclear 1,977,000 27.29% 0.25%
Hydroelectric 374,000 5.16% 0.12%
Other renewables 200,000 2.76% 0.1%
Total net electricity generation 7,245,000 100% 0.18%
**Note: Because the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) does not include all of a state's energy production in these figures, the EIA totals do not equal 100 percent. Instead, we have generated our own percentages.

News items

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Arizona Fracking News Feed

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See also

External links

References