The demand for nonrenewable energy resources has increased in nations around the world despite the reality that these remaining resources are both scarce, and increasingly difficult to acquire. In 2010 Earth's reserves held the equivalent of approximately 406 billion tons of natural gas and oi1. However, at yearly consumption rates, this amount would only serve the planet's energy needs for about fifty years. The rapid elimination of conventional sources for oil and gas has led to the utilization of alternative methods to access sources that were previously not worth drilling. In the United States, for example, there are several types of underground rock formation that hold valuable oil and gas. The resources found in these formations are very difficult to extract, so one method developed to effectively retrieve the oil and gas is hydraulic fracturing.
"Comments: Hydraulic Fracturing: Evaluating Fracking Regulations,"
University of Baltimore Journal of Land and Development: Vol. 4
, Article 5.
Available at: http://scholarworks.law.ubalt.edu/ubjld/vol4/iss2/5