Since Nobel Prize recipient Svante Arrhenius realized that fossil fuel combustion increased CO2 emissions in our atmosphere in 1896, scientists and policy makers have acknowledged the calamitous potential for the oil and gas industry to render substantial deleterious effects on ecosystems. Yet in 2016, the U.S. utilized fossil fuels to facilitate 80.9% of all energy consumption.1 Subsequent to the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission vastly encouraged outside economic investment into our oil and gas infrastructure. Natural resources situated in geologic formations that possess low permeability, which were once considered previously inaccessible and unprofitable, have now been exploited by utilizing horizontal drilling techniques combined with hydraulic fracturing.2 There are a multitude of deleterious consequences correlated with this successful venture to achieve energy independence in the U.S. During 2016, 17.6 million Americans resided within 1 mile of an active hydraulically fractured well site.3 Eight states in the U.S. have more than 10% of their population located within 1 mile of an active hydraulically fractured well site, including Ohio (24.3%).4 The final section of this article “Prudent Recommendations to Mitigate Deleterious Consequences” provides potential solutions for combating this emerging neoteric legal and environmental conundrum.
"The Energy Policy Act of 2005: The Rapid Decline of Jura Majestatis for Communities in Ohio,"
Hatfield Graduate Journal of Public Affairs:
2, Article 6.
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