Fracking has allowed many states to unlock vast oil and natural gas reserves in underground shale formations. The drilling technique involves injecting water, sand and chemical mixtures more than one mile underground to extract oil and gas.
Environmental groups have made fracking the boogeyman du jour, saying it pollutes drinking water and harms air quality. But there is no evidence that the fracking process itself, which lasts from a couple days to about two weeks, harms any water quality.
“I still have not seen any evidence of fracking per se contaminating groundwater,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor last year.
There are now more than 1.1 million active oil and natural gas wells in the country. Texas has nearly 304,000 active wells and North Dakota has nearly 23,000, according to the well tracking site.