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Lecture in “Should we Frack? Impacts of Unconventional Oil and Gas Development"

October 2015

Dr. Robert Gracie,    PhD
Assistant Professor,
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

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Since the discovery of hydraulic fracturing as an unconventional method for enhanced oil and gas extraction, the technology has become a subject of controversy among scientists, environmental activists, and the public. Positive impacts of fracturing include significant expansion of energy sources and reserves, and deceleration of climate change through lowering dependence on coal for operating power plants. Potential risks to human health and the environment include soil and ground water contamination as a consequence of leakage from   hydraulic fracturing operations, air pollution, and the induction of seismic activity. This presentation provides an overview of the technological, regulatory, and economic aspects of fracturing, as well as uncertainties surrounding the potential health and environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing.






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