Is Fracking A Solution To The Jobs Crisis? Separating Facts From Spin

Fracking, Jobs
Fracking, Jobs



The 20th century is often referred to as the "American Century" as it was during that time when the U.S. emerged as an economic and political superpower. But a decade into the 21st century, with the country mired in a jobs crisis alongside its eternal struggle to find new sources of energy, some companies in that sector, with the help of business-friendly research groups, are arguing that the practice of fracking would give the U.S. economy a much-needed boost.

According to Moody's Analytics (via USA Today), the exploration of natural gas deposits embedded in shale, along with oil drilling, is responsible for roughly 1 million of the 2.7 million new jobs that have been created since 2002. And much of that employment can be chalked up the discovery of 1.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Appalachian Basin, in an area known as the Marcellus Shale. But fracking -- a process formally known as hydraulic fracturing in which fluids are injected into the ground at high pressures to enable the extraction of natural gas -- also is linked with environmental hazards. And critics also contend that shale supporters are overstating their projections of the number of jobs created by fracking.

So the question is: how many jobs would fracking really create, and is it worth the potential damage to the environment?