Modern Shale Gas Development in the United States: A Primer from the Energy Information Administration explains how "natural gas production from hydrocarbon rich shale formations, known as “shale gas,” is one of the most rapidly expanding trends in onshore domestic oil and gas exploration and production today.
In some areas, this has included bringing drilling and production to regions of the country that have seen little or no activity in the past. New oil and gas developments bring change to the environmental and socio-economic landscape, particularly in those areas where gas development is a new activity. With these changes have come questions about the nature of shale gas development, the potential environmental impacts, and the ability of the current regulatory structure to deal with this development. Regulators, policy makers, and the public need an objective source of information on which to base answers to these questions and decisions about how to manage the challenges that may accompany shale gas development.
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