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Uproar over shale gas findings

Dec. 7, 2011 at 7:34 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- An energy hawk in the U.S. House of Representatives described shale gas as a key to U.S. energy security though opponents question the predicted benefits.

The United States has some of the richest shale gas deposits in the world. Shale gas is extracted using a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Critics of fracking say chemicals used in fracking fluid could reach drinking water supplies, a contention energy companies and some state regulators contest.

An 81-page report from IHS Global Insight concludes that shale gas production in the United States is on pace to more than double by 2035. IHS said shale gas contributed more than $76.9 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product in 2015 and could increase to $231.1 billion by 2035.

"Over the next 25 years, the shale gas industry will generate more than $933 billion in tax revenues for local, state and the federal governments," the report reads.

U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, says U.S. President Barack Obama should free up the shale market for job creation.

The IHS report said shale gas could support more than 1.6 million jobs by 2035 but Emily Wurth, water policy director at shale critic Food and Water Watch, told Bloomberg News much of the findings by IHS are vastly overstated.

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