Fracking in Oregon

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Fracking in Oregon
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Fracking in Oregon 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.

According to the Citizens' Utility Board of Oregon, fracking has occurred in Oregon in the past, although there is no fracking taking place in the state currently. Natural gas fields located in the northwestern part of the state are sandstone formations and as such do not require fracking. There are, however, coalbed methane resources in the southwestern part of the state. Fracking could be used to extract this gas.[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 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 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 Oregon

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

In 2011, roughly 30 percent of energy consumption in Oregon was used for transportation, and about a quarter was used for industrial purposes; the remaining was used in the commercial and residential sectors. Hydropower is the most common source of energy, followed by natural gas and petroleum (mainly in transportation). Prices for energy resources in Oregon are below the national averages.[1]

Consumption of energy for heating homes in Oregon
Source Oregon 2011 U.S. average 2011
Natural gas 38.2% 49.5%
Fuel oil 3.0% 6.5%
Electricity 49% 35.4%
Liquid Petroleum Gases (LPG) 1.6% 5%
Other/none 8.2% 3.6%

Oregon produced 515 trillion BTU of energy in 2011. Of that, just over one percent was produced from natural gas and biofuels. The remaining 99 percent came from what the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) classifies as "other" renewable energies.[4]

Where electricity comes from in Oregon[5]
Type Amount generated (MWh) % of state** % of U.S.**
Natural gas-fired 1,457 29.86% 0%
Hydroelectric 2,462 50.45% 0%
Other renewables 562 11.52% 0%
Total net electricity generation 4,880 100% 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.

About a third of the electric energy generated in Oregon is from natural gas, some of which is imported from Alberta, British Columbia, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. In 2011, the Ruby Pipeline opened, which transports natural gas from the Opal Hub in Wyoming. Oregon’s Mist Gas Field is the only producer of natural gas in the Pacific Northwest. The rest of the electric energy in Oregon is produced from other renewable resources.[5]

News items

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Oregon Fracking News Feed

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See also

External links

References