American Views on Fracking

May 2016

Since becoming an economically viable means of extracting oil and gas in the early 21st century, hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking” as the process is commonly known) has become a major component of the American and world energy sectors. In 2015, about half of the oil and natural gas produced in the United States came from these processes compared to less than 5% a decade ago. The rise of hydraulic fracturing has had enormous impacts on energy markets worldwide and has been widely credited with playing a large role in lower energy prices in recent years. However, there has also been tremendous controversy surrounding the environmental and health effects associated with the use of fracking both in the United States and abroad. It is against this backdrop that the Fall 2015 National Survey on Energy and the Environment (NSEE) examined American views on hydraulic fracturing.