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Fracking’s coming boom

Unlimited export of U.S. natural gas would have enormous implications on the future of the nation's economy, environment and domestic energy choices. Yet a burgeoning chorus in Congress, on both sides of the aisle, is calling for the swift approval of 19 liquid natural gas (LNG) export permits.

The acceptance of these permits would unleash an unprecedented frenzy of domestic high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, just to meet daily production rates under decades-long contractual obligations. If accepted, the total of the permits currently under review by the Department of Energy for LNG export would be equal to 28.54 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day, approximately 45 percent of what the U.S. is projected to consume daily in 2013, according to the U.S. Energy Administration.

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