California Governor mulls hydrofracking

California Governor Jerry Brown revealed that he is considering opening the state to the controversial drilling method referred to as ‘hydraulic fracturing’, or ‘hydrofracking’.

Hydrofracking involves using high pressured water and chemicals to release natural gas that is trapped in underground rock formations. Vast deposits discovered in the northeast Marcellus Shale has boosted natural gas production at the expense of coal-depended states.

Although natural gas burns cleaner then coal, the process of hydrofracking presents another environmental risk. Although drilling rigs adhere to strict regulations, the chemicals used to release the natural gas could potentially contaminate groundwater.

California may have to take the risk, since they have some of the United States’ largest oil and natural gas reservoirs. An estimated 15 billion barrels of oil are stored beneath the state’s surface.

Tapping these wells may be necessary to improve our energy independence and move away from foreign dependence on oil.