Hydraulic Fracturing and the Baseline Testing of Groundwater

Keith B. Hall *

Hydraulic fracturing is a process that often is used to stimulate the production of oil and natural gas from low permeability formations. The process is controversial. Some people passionately support the use of hydraulic fracturing, while others fervently oppose it. Much of the controversy arises from the fact that many people fear that hydraulic fracturing might cause contamination of underground sources of drinking water. In part, the public debate and disagreement regarding hydraulic fracturing is fueled by competing opinions regarding how society should balance the tradeoffs between economic development and environmental protection. But this is only part of the disagreement.

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*  Campanile Charities Professor of Energy Law and Director of the Louisiana Mineral Law Institute. J.D., 1996, Loyola University School of Law; B.S., Chemical Engineering, 1985, Louisiana State University.