Fracking in Massachusetts

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Fracking in Massachusetts
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Fossil fuels present None[1]
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Fracking in Massachusetts 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.

Although no fracking occurs in Massachusetts, in late 2013 a bill was introduced in the state house that would have imposed a 10-year moratorium on fracking in the state. In addition, the bill would have forbidden the storage, treatment or disposal of fracking wastewater in the state. The bill was reported favorably by the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, but died in the Ways and Means Committee.[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 trade-offs.

Natural gas use in Massachusetts

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

In 2011, roughly one-third of Massachusetts' energy use was for transportation, and one-third was used by the residential sector for heating, cooling, lighting and other functions. Most of the energy used in the state is in the form of natural gas, which is due to the fact that nearly half of Massachusetts' residents use natural gas to heat their homes.[1]

Consumption of energy for heating homes in Massachusetts
Source Massachusetts 2011 U.S. average 2011
Natural gas 49.1% 49.5%
Fuel oil 31.8% 6.5%
Electricity 14% 35.4%
Liquid Petroleum Gases (LPG) 2.6% 5%
Other/none 2.4% 3.6%

In 2011, the electricity consumed in Massachusetts was produced mainly from natural gas. Two-thirds of the total generation of electricity in the state comes from natural gas.[1]

Where electricity comes from in Massachusetts[3]
Type Amount generated (MWh) % of state** % of U.S.**
Petroleum-fired 9,000 0.34% 0.03%
Natural gas-fired 1,978,000 74.28% 0.2%
Nuclear 387,000 14.53% 0.05%
Hydroelectric 66,000 2.48% 0.02%
Other renewables 156,000 5.86% 0.08%
Total net electricity generation 2,663,000 100% 0.06%
**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