Fracking in Minnesota
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|Fracking in Minnesota|
|Fossil fuels present||None|
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- 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.
Frac sand mining
Although fracking does not occur in Minnesota due to the lack of fossil fuel reserves, the state is rich in silica sand, which can be used as frac sand in the fracking process. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, there are five silica sand mines in the state used for industrial purposes (along with an unknown number of mines used for agricultural and construction purposes). According to Minnesota Public Radio, some municipalities have enacted moratoria on frac sand mining in their communities pending further study on the practice.
Natural gas use in Minnesota
- For more information on energy consumption in Minnesota, see "Energy policy in Minnesota"
About 25 percent of the energy consumed in the state goes to transportation. The residential sector consumes just above 21 percent of that total. Commercial needs account for 18 percent of the state’s energy consumption. Industry consumes the most: 35 percent of the state’s total consumption. Industry is also the state’s largest consumer of natural gas, using more than one-third of the state’s total natural gas consumption.
|Consumption of energy for heating homes in Minnesota|
|Source||Minnesota 2011||U.S. average 2011|
|Liquid Petroleum Gases (LPG)||10%||5%|
|Where electricity comes from in Minnesota|
|Type||Amount generated (MWh)||% of state**||% of U.S.**|
|Total net electricity generation||4,079||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.|
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- Energy policy in Minnesota
- Fracking in the United States
- Energy use in the United States
- Energy policy in the United States
- U.S. Energy Information Administration, "Minnesota Profile"
- Frac Focus, "National Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Registry"
- U.S. Energy Information Administration, "Minnesota Profile Analysis," updated December 18, 2013
- Minnesota Public Radio, "Frac Sand Mining," accessed July 10, 2014
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, "DNR and Silica Sand," accessed July 10, 2014
- U.S. Energy Information Administration, "Minnesota Profile Overview," accessed February 14, 2014
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