Advances in oil and gas extraction technologies are now allowing oil and gas companies to extract oil reserves that could not have been mined in the past. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, has caused great concern amongst environmentalists who fear the new extraction technique pollutes local water supplies and harms the environment. New regulations and future job growth are just two of the benefits from U.S. oil and gas reserves, which are much greater than previously thought, says Amy Harder, an energy and environment correspondent with the National Journal.
- The Department of Interior is preparing new regulations for hydraulic fracturing to ensure that growth in the industry does not harm the environment.
- The industry is expected to grow for many decades as the proven reserves of America’s shale gas formations continue to grow, notably in the Bakken and Three Forks shale formations stored deep under the states of North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana.
- The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that the two formations hold more than 7.4 billion barrels of oil and gas that is undiscovered, but could theoretically be extracted in the future.