VOLUME 5 - 2012-2013 - ISSUE 1
5 Ky. J. Equine, Agric. & Nat. Resources L. 33 (2013).
MENDING THE FRACTURE: BRINGING PARTIES TOGETHER ON HIGH VOLUME HYDRAULIC FRACTURING THROUGH ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Article Written By: Allison Rose
Natural gas is poised to make a significant impact on America's energy future. According to the United States Energy Information Administration, natural gas supplied approximately 25 percent of the United States' energy demand in 2010. The U.S. has abundant natural gas resources, and current estimates of the recoverable resource suggest that there is enough natural gas to supply the country for the next 90 years. Nevertheless, in recent years, conventional gas reserves, such as those found in the Gulf of Mexico, Kansas, and New Mexico, have been declining, while unconventional natural gas, found in shale formations, tight sands, and coal beds are anticipated to become an increasing portion of U.S. natural gas production.
Historically, the depth of these formations and the tightness of the shale made extraction difficult and expensive." However, recent advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies, combined with increased natural gas prices that peaked in 2008, have made the recovery of natural gas from shale formations economically viable. Through a process known variably as slickwater hydraulic fracturing, high volume hydraulic fracturing ("HVHF"). Despite its promise of inexpensive, clean, and domestically produced natural gas, hydraulic fracturing has been hotly debated in New York and the rest of the U.S. In New York, hydraulic fracturing has been contested, studied, delayed, and, most recently, litigated. The use of principled negotiation, a component of Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR"), to address hydraulic fracturing issues in New York State holds great potential to yield more favorable outcomes than federal and state level regulation alone.