Fracking in Washington
Energy policy • Fracking policy • Public education • School choice • Public pensions • State budget • Ballot measures • Ballot access
|Fracking in Washington|
|Fossil fuels present||Limited Oil and coal reserves|
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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.
Natural gas use in Washington
|Consumption of energy for heating homes in Washington|
|Source||Washington 2011||U.S. average 2011|
|Liquid Petroleum Gases (LPG)||3.1%||5%|
Electricity produced and consumed in Washington comes primarily from hydropower energy, which produces three-fourths of the total. Nuclear, wind, natural gas, coal and biomass account for Washington's remaining generation. In Washington, net electricity generation exceeds consumption, making the state an electricity exporter. Washington has no natural gas production, but instead imports natural gas from Canada.
|Where electricity comes from in Washington|
|Type||Amount generated (MWh)||% of state**||% of U.S.**|
|Total net electricity generation||8,534,000||100%||0.21%|
|**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.|
In Washington, the Utilities and Transportation Commission regulates the private, investor-owned natural gas and electric utilities in the state, of which there are five. These five include Avista Corporation, Cascade Natural Gas Corporation, Northwest Natural Gas Company, PacifiCorp and Puget Sound Energy.
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- Energy policy in Washington
- Fracking in the United States
- Energy use in the United States
- Energy policy in the United States
- U.S. Energy Information Administration, "Washington Profile"
- Frac Focus, "National Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Registry"
- U.S. Energy Information Administration, "Washington Profile Analysis," updated December 18, 2013
- U.S. Energy Information Administration, “Washington Profile Overview,” accessed February 22, 2014
- Washington Utilities and Transportation Committee, "Companies We Regulate," accessed March 17, 2014
- Washington Utilities and Transportation Committee, "Utilities and Transportation Commission," accessed February 22, 2014
State of Washington
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Superintendent of Public Instruction | Commissioner of Insurance | Director of Agriculture | Commissioner of Public Lands | Director of Labor and Industries | Chairman of Utilities and Transportation |