Hydraulic Fracturing: Tightly Regulated, Extensively Studied

A common refrain from activists nationwide trying to ban hydraulic fracturing is that the process is “new,” poorly understood, and in need of “further study” before it should proceed. The reality is that the production of oil and natural gas from deep shale formations and other “tight” reservoirs has been strongly regulated for many years, and the ongoing effort to closely monitor these activities has yielded many studies and reports.

To demonstrate just how extensively the subject of “fracking” has been studied, EID has generated a helpful list of reports, analyses, and other studies that have examined everything from seismicity and land use to air emissions and water impacts. Clearly, hydraulic fracturing is not wanting for scholarly attention – and this list isn’t even exhaustive!

If the negative environmental impacts alleged by extreme environmental activists truly existed, there would be plenty of evidence for scientists to discover. As it is, those who have examined the scientific evidence, and the evidence of experience, have concluded that hydraulic fracturing is inherently safe with manageable risks.

The energy industry is built on sound science, and additional research into the risks and benefits of shale development is something the industry welcomes. After all, this is how continuous improvements— in safety, in efficiency, and in economical production — have been and will continue to be made.

Claiming hydraulic fracturing is “unstudied” or “under-studied” is nothing more than a campaign tactic to prevent, and eventually stop, the oil and gas industry from operating. The claim is demonstrably and objectively untrue – but then again, very little of what anti-fracking activists claim is accurate anyway.


  1. randy verret says:

    Bravo! Keep it coming…The industry welcomes objective views & peer reviewed science. We can stand on the FACTS. The activists, cannot…

  2. Kevin says:

    All these studies and yet Cal-Berkeley recommends more research and better accountability. I guess studies are no substitute for good research and actual regulation.


  1. […] case that fracking is “tightly regulated and extensively studied” that PAI analyzed was originally published in 2013 on Energy in Depth’s California blog by FTI Consulting senior director and EID California lead […]

  2. […] noted above, has never been used to date to produce oil and gas in in Florida. The process has been extensively studied and it is heavily regulated at the federal, state and local levels. No oil or gas well can be […]

  3. […] to hydraulic fracturing (fracking) have tried to deceive the public about this well-understood and extensively studied process which has been used to stimulate oil and gas wells since the 1940s. However, study after […]

  4. […] that is frequently repeated by anti-industry groups like FWW, even in the face of numerous studies that show this claim to be unfounded. The Foundation’s report […]

  5. […] government, leading academic institutions, or the industry itself – scientific research that repeatedly and unambiguously shows that hydraulic fracturing is fundamentally safe with manageable risks (and […]

  6. […] To any non-scientific charges, even those as simplistic as “corporations are bad,” one can only turn to science for enlightenment and the fact remains that fracking is an extremely well-understood process (given that it has been used routinely since Harry Truman was in the White House) and it has been extensively studied. […]

  7. […] activists, repeating numerous falsehoods about fracking and its associated effects that have been debunked by experts time and time […]

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