– In the 2014 midterm elections, several localities — including Denton, Texas, and Mendocino County, Calif. — passed bans on “fracking,” a catchall term that has come to describe the process by which companies use advanced or unconventional drilling technologies to access hard-to-get reserves of natural gas found in deep underground shale formations. Across the country, fracking is increasingly becoming a politicized matter, as drilling companies move in to tap valuable hydrocarbon resources and citizens charge that their air and drinking water are being polluted or contaminated.


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