Fracking fuels energy debate

The hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of deep shale deposits is unearthing a lot of natural gas — and controversy

By Erica Gies, 17:10 PM July 18, 2012

In the 2010 documentary Gasland, Colorado resident Mike Markham strikes a cigarette lighter next to his kitchen faucet. He turns on the tap and waits a beat. Whoosh! A fireball shoots from the flowing stream.

It’s a dramatic scene in a film about a technology being used to unleash huge new supplies of natural gas.

Josh Fox, the movie’s director and writer, argues that the tap water flames were likely fueled by methane, the energetic molecule that makes up most of the fuel known as natura...

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