2. Natural gas

Natural gas is capturing the public’s imagination, especially since many well-known people, from T. Boone Pickens to Nancy Pelosi, have praised it as the cheap, clean, and abundant fuel for the future. But new technologies for drilling for natural gas will have large environmental effects, like this sinkhole in Texas (Figure 2.1) where large amounts of water were pumped into the ground to release gas from the rocks below.

Figure 2.1 A large tank, center, falls into a sinkhole near Daisetta, Texas. The sinkhole was believed to be caused by mining beneath the surface for natural gas. (Source: © AP Photo/KHOU-TV, Bobby Bracken)1

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