Fracking in Delaware

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

Although there is no fracking in Delaware, natural gas companies have expressed interested in the possibility of fracking in the Delaware River basin, part of which lies in Delaware. Although the Delaware River Basin Commission, which is comprised of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and the federal government, has had a temporary moratorium on fracking in place since 2010, there were renewed calls for a permanent ban on fracking in the basin area in early 2014. New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt said, "There should be a moratorium in West Virginia, there should be a moratorium in Pennsylvania and there should be a fracking moratorium for the Delaware River watershed."[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 to 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 that have fossil fuel reserves that can be accessed through the combination of these two technologies and the industries that support them. The increased use of fracking has been an economic boon for states, not only those with fracking but also those with supporting industries, such as frac sand mining or associated machinery manufacturing.

Those opposed to fracking argue that the potential environmental and human health impacts could be large. Although wells have been fracked for over 65 years in the U.S., concerns have been raised over the ability for federal, state and local regulatory agencies to keep up with the recent and rapid growth and adequately protect the environment and human health. As with any type of energy extraction, either traditional or renewable, there are tradeoffs.

Natural gas use in Delaware

See also: State Energy Rankings
For more information on energy consumption, "Energy policy in Delaware"

Most of the energy used in the state was in the form of natural gas (used primarily for the electric power sector), followed by electricity and petroleum. In 2011, 30 percent of Delaware's energy use was for industrial purposes, one-fifth for residential uses, 23 percent for transportation and the remaining for the commercial sector.[1]

Consumption of energy for heating homes in Delaware
Source Delaware 2011 U.S. average 2011
Natural gas 40.3% 49.5%
Fuel oil 15.9% 6.5%
Electricity 31.4% 35.4%
Liquid Petroleum Gases (LPG) 10.4% 5%
Other/none 2.1% 3.6%

Natural gas is supplied through interstate pipelines, mainly Columbia Gas Transmission Corp. and Eastern Shore Natural Gas Co. from Pennsylvania. A small amount is also imported from Maryland.[1]

Where electricity comes from in Delaware [3]
Type Amount generated (MWh) % of state** % of U.S.**
Natural gas-fired 493,000 74.47% 0.05%
Coal-fired 150,000 22.66% 0.01%
Other renewables 11,000 1.66% 0.01%
Total net electricity generation 662,000 100% 0.02%
**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.

For natural gas utilities, Delaware only regulates transmission to customers, while the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates interstate transmission. Natural gas used in electricity generation is shipped into Delaware through the Port of Wilmington.[4]

News items

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See also

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References