What Is Fracking?

Fracking has been in the news lately, in part due to the recent decision of several California counties to ban the practice. Many people have heard the term “fracking” and know that it is controversial without really understand the fracking process and what it means for the land.

Getting to Shale Gas and Oil

Fracking, which is also known as “hydraulic fracturing” or “hydrofracturing”, is the process of drilling horizontally deep into the ground to reach shale rock for the purpose of extracting natural gas and oil from it. Once the drill penetrates the rock, water, sand, and other fluids are pumped into perforations within the drill. The fluid actually fractures the rock, which is where the word “fracking” comes from. Once the rock is broken apart deep within the earth, previously unreachable oil and gas can be pumped to the surface.

Why It’s Controversial

Fracking is controversial for a number of reasons, including its potential impact on the land. The practice has generated significant concerns about earthquakes and possible contamination of ground water, which is a huge source of drinking water. Detractors claim that the water, sand, and chemicals pumped into the ground could leech into the water supply over time – a huge issue in a state like California, where drought is a constant concern.


Others point out that fracking is just a temporary band-aid on the long-term problem of the American energy supply. Because fracking harvests fossil fuels, many suggest that the U.S. should dedicate its energy and resources to finding greener, more sustainable energy sources. Fracking also requires enormous amounts of water to generate the pressure needed to break the shale rock apart. Environmentalists claim that this just depletes one precious resource in favor of gaining another.

California Eviction and Real Estate Law

Attorney Kirkman J. Hoffman has more than 20 years’ experience representing commercial and residential landlords, owners, and property managers in Silicon Valley and the surrounding regions. Contact the team at Hoffman Law Group today at (408) 241-9620 to discuss your real estate or eviction matter.


This website has been prepared by Hoffman Law Group, APC for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.