Fracking in Connecticut

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Fracking in Connecticut
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Fossil fuels present None[1]
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Fracking in Connecticut 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. Connecticut has no oil or natural gas reserves, and as such there is no fracking occurring in the state.

Although there is no fracking in Connecticut, the issue of storing and/or disposing of fracking waste generated by other states was addressed by the state legislature in May 2014. Under SB 237, the storage and/or disposal of fracking waste will be prohibited until the state's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection develops pertinent regulations (the department has until July 1, 2017, to submit such regulations to the legislature for review). A particular cause for concern is the possibility that neighboring New York may lift its ban on fracking, resulting in the possible disposal of fracking waste in Connecticut.[2][3]

State Senator Edward Meyer (D) said, "This bill is being offered to the legislature and to the people of Connecticut in order to avoid what many people feel is a danger to our security and our safety and health." Senator Kevin Witkos (R), who voted in favor of the legislation, said, "I think [the bill] doesn't close the door. I think it says, take your time, study the issue, and find out if there are harmful effects."[2][3]

SB 237 passed the state senate on May 6, 2014, with 35 "yes" votes (one member was absent and did not vote). On May 7, 2014, the state house passed the bill with 74 "yes" votes and 19 "no" votes (four members were absent and did not vote). Governor Dannel Malloy signed the bill into law on June 12, 2014.[2][3]

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 Connecticut

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

In 2011, roughly one-third of Connecticut's energy use was for residential purposes and one-third for transportation. The industrial sector consumed the least amount of energy, at only about 11 percent of total consumption. Energy consumed in the state comes mainly from natural gas.[4]

Fuel oil is the most widely used source of heat for homes; about 46 percent of homes use the petroleum derivative. Approximately 32 percent of all homes in the state use natural gas despite the high price, and about 15 percent of homes use electricity to heat their homes.[4]

Consumption of energy for heating homes in Connecticut
Source Connecticut 2011 U.S. average 2011
Natural gas 32.4% 49.5%
Fuel oil 46.3% 6.5%
Electricity 15.3% 35.4%
Liquid Petroleum Gases (LPG) 3.2% 5%
Other/none 2.8% 3.6%

Electricity generated in Connecticut mainly comes from nuclear power, but natural gas is close behind. About 54 percent of the electricity generated in Connecticut is generated from nuclear power plants within the state. About 41 percent of electricity is generated from natural gas, despite the higher price of natural gas in Connecticut. The natural gas is all imported by interstate pipelines, primarily through New York.[4]

Where electricity comes from in Connecticut[1]
Type Amount generated (MWh) % of state** % of U.S.**
Natural gas-fired 1,184,000 41.25% 0.12%
Nuclear 1,552,000 54.08% 0.2%
Hydroelectric 25,000 0.87% 0.01%
Other renewables 54,000 1.88% 0.03%
Total net electricity generation 2,870,000 100% 0.07%
**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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See also

External links