Univ of Michigan Reports Explore Future of Fracking in MI

The University of Michigan is in the midst of a two-year project called the Hydraulic Fracturing in Michigan Integrated Assessment. The project, which ultimately hopes to help guide policy on shale drilling in the state, is being overseen and under the umbrella of the Graham Sustainability Institute at U-M (a potential red flag if you ask us). The first round of analysis is now done. Yesterday, researchers released seven technical reports–think of them as tutorials or backgrounders or “get the facts established” reports. In our brief scan they look helpful and unbiased (we’ve gathered all the reports together in one document, embedded below so you can read or download it).

The upshot from the reports? Michigan has lots of shale gas, particularly in the Utica-Collingwood shale layer, that may one day be mined. However, Michigan’s shale gas is located deep, and with the current low price of natural gas and the abundance of gas in shallower plays (like the Marcellus), Michigan won’t see significant drilling for a long time, which gives policy makers time to “get it right” when it comes to regulations…

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