Graham Sustainability Institute

Hydraulic Fracturing in Michigan Factsheet

February 2017

There has recently been an increase in natural gas extraction efforts across the U.S., including in Michigan. Much of this increase is due to the expanded use of the process called hydraulic fracturing–popularly known as “fracking,” a method of natural gas extraction used since the 1940s. Fracking has been at the center of both wide support and concern by community members, industry, and state governments. This 2-page fact sheet provides a summary of a research project, read the report:

Key Terms: It’s important to understand the terms “fracking,” “hydraulic fracturing,” and “high volume hydraulic fracturing.” Many people use the term fracking to describe the entire natural gas extraction process–including leasing, drilling, and well completion. Hydraulic fracturing is the injection of fluids (e.g., water, chemicals) into rock to create fissures or cracks that allow natural gas or oil to be pumped to the surface of the ground and used. The State of Michigan defines high volume hydraulic fracturing as hydraulic fracturing that uses a large volume–more than 100,000 gallons–of fluid injected into rock to extract oil or gas.