A decade of fracking research: What have we learned?
Hydraulic fracturing, popularized about a decade ago, has helped unlock hydrocarbons trapped in tight shale formations, spawning a vast web of rigs, wells and energy infrastructure across the country. Every element of that network carries its own risks for water contamination, air pollution, health and climate change. Scientists have, in some cases, been able to distill the likelihood and severity of those risks. But not always.