Fracking in Washington

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Fracking in Washington
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Fossil fuels present Limited Oil and coal reserves[1]
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Fracking in Washington 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. There is no fracking occurring in Washington.

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 Washington

See also: State Energy Rankings
For more information on energy consumption, see "Energy policy in Washington"
Consumption of energy for heating homes in Washington
Source Washington 2011 U.S. average 2011
Natural gas 35.5% 49.5%
Fuel oil 2.7% 6.5%
Electricity 53.5% 35.4%
Liquid Petroleum Gases (LPG) 3.1% 5%
Other/none 5.3% 3.6%

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.[1]

Where electricity comes from in Washington[2]
Type Amount generated (MWh) % of state** % of U.S.**
Petroleum-fired 3,000 0.04% 0.01%
Natural gas-fired 987,000 11.57% 0.1%
Coal-fired 737,000 8.64% 0.04%
Nuclear 814,000 9.54% 0.1%
Hydroelectric 5,288,000 61.96% 1.66%
Other renewables 657,000 7.7% 0.33%
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.[3][4]

News items

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See also

External links

References