Smith Lecture: Evaluating the Environmental Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing: Michigan as a Case Study
Recent growth in the use of hydraulic fracturing to extract oil and natural gas from unconventional reservoirs promises to change America’s energy future. Yet, the scale and rate at which this technology is being applied is simultaneously raising concerns about its impact on the environment and public health. This presentation will introduce the fundamentals behind hydraulic fracturing, identify emerging environmental concerns and examine current activity specific to the state of Michigan. Results from ongoing work examining the influence of hydraulic fracturing fluids in mobilizing toxic elements from organic-rich shales will also be discussed.