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What is fracking and how can it lower household energy charges?

Fracking is a process used by gas companies who want to tap into otherwise hidden sources of gas. But what is fracking exactly and why is it so controversial?
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Process

The process basically involves drilling into the earth and then injecting the hole with a high pressure water mixture that releases the gas held within. The mixture contains water, sand and chemicals which combine to force the gas to flow out of the head of the well. The process begins with a drill that’s forced vertically into the surface so there are environmental concerns, which is why this form of gas mining is seen as controversial.

USA

America is a country that tries to remain independent of other nations so it sources as much energy as it can from its own land. For that reason, fracking has become one of the most popular forms of gas mining in the US.

Advantages of fracking

Difficult or impossible resources of oil and gas are now accessible with this method. In America this process has significantly increased domestic oil production and pushed gas prices down. The process is said to offer the US and Canada gas security for as much as 100 years, and it gives these nations a chance to create electricity with only half the CO2 emissions that coal produces.

UK

In the UK, fracking for shale gas will contribute to the UK’s energy needs according to a report from the Energy and Climate Change Committee. If that helps drive down household bills thanks to lower energy charges, that can only be a good thing for families and individuals who struggle to make ends meet during the coldest months of the year when we use the most energy to heat our homes.

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