Fracking in Idaho

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Fracking in Idaho
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Fossil fuels present Limited oil, coal and natural gas[1]
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Fracking in Idaho 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.

Idaho has very limited traditional energy resources, including oil, coal and natural gas. Since 2010, natural gas companies have been exploring and developing "promising fields" in the southwest part of the state. According to a report in the Idaho Statesman, however, fracking (as defined above) cannot occur in Idaho:[1][2]

Sandstone, not shale underlies southwest Idaho and eastern Oregon where this exploration is concentrated. There is no fracking in sandstone, though the unfortunate term of “mini-fracking” that former drillers Bridge Energy used for well stimulation - a similar but less-pressurized practice - confused the issue.[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 trade-offs.

Natural gas use in Idaho

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

In 2011, roughly one-fourth of Idaho’s energy use was for transportation, and one-fourth was used by the residential sector. Roughly one-third was used in the industrial sector. The rest was used in the commercial sector. Most of the energy used in the state was in the form of hydroelectric power, followed by imported electricity, natural gas and then gasoline for transportation.[1]

Consumption of energy for heating homes in Idaho
Source Idaho 2011 U.S. average 2011
Natural gas 50.6% 49.5%
Fuel oil 1.9% 6.5%
Electricity 33.0% 35.4%
Liquid Petroleum Gases (LPG) 5.0% 5%
Other/none 9.4% 3.6%

Idaho receives its natural gas supply by pipeline from Canada and from other western states. One pipeline system enters Idaho at its northern border from British Columbia, crosses the panhandle, and continues to Washington, Oregon and California. The other system runs from Colorado to the Pacific Northwest and Canada. This pipeline can supply natural gas to Idaho either from Canada or from Wyoming and Colorado. About nine-tenths of the natural gas entering Idaho continues on to Nevada and the West Coast.[1]

Where electricity comes from in Idaho[4]
Type Amount generated (MWh) % of state** % of U.S.**
Other renewables 172.8 95.79% 0%
Total net electricity generation 180.4 100% 0%
**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, Idaho relies on two natural gas utilities to supply natural gas throughout the state. The Avista Corporation supplies natural gas to the northern part of the state, and Intermountain Gas supplies natural gas to the southern part of the state.[5][6]

News items

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Idaho+Fracking"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Idaho Fracking News Feed

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See also

External links