Fracking or Hydraulic fracturing | See also Energy. | Renewables.

‘Depending on your point of view, hydraulic fracturing—or “fracking”—is either the future of clean, natural gas or an environmental apocalypse. Fracking liberates gas trapped underground by drilling sideways from vertical well-shafts into horizontal layers of shale rock. Millions of gallons of a cocktail of water, sand and chemicals are injected into the horizontal wells at high pressure, fracturing the shale, releasing the gas—and causing violent protests in Europe and parts of America,’ (Geothermal energy: Hot rocks–Why geothermal is the new fracking’, The Economist Aug 16th 2014, p.50-1).

Opponents of fracking are concernned about carbon emissions, air pollution, and flaring, as well as the potential risks of water contamination, plus dirty eyesores which blight the landscape. Wine regions at risk from fracking include Monterrey in California and Patagonia in Argentina.