Drilling down: Denver tops world list for Google-searches on fracking

Our choice of words matters in debates over fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, Sarah Gilman writes in High Country News. Whether we’re talking about an engineering process or the overall scary idea of having pumps, wells and possible contamination in your backyard, how we describe it makes a difference in what we think about it.

To help make sense of this, the University of Colorado – Boulder’s Center for the American West and the Air Gas Water project have teamed up to write a basic guide to the vocabulary of oil and gas development. Gilman notes that it’s still open for comment.

And it’s none too soon for Denverites. As Gilman notes: “Use of the search term ‘fracking’ has surged on Google since about 2011. Denver, just southeast of the Niobrara shale play [that has caused] all of Colorado’s recent fuss over moratoria and new regulations, is the worldwide epicenter of frack searches.”

[Art by Poster Boy, used by High Country News via Flickr/Creative Commons.]

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