Coal mining in the US is being driven by the advent of the hydraulic fracturing process, according to a report from a team of US academics.
The fracking process, or fracking, is an unconventional, non-traditional method of extracting coal, oil, and natural gas from underground rock formations.
This process, which involves injecting large volumes of water, sand and chemicals into rock formations, is commonly used in the fracking industry to extract oil and natural-gas.
A number of other industries, including steel and cement, are also currently using the process to extract coal, but are still dependent on gas.
The researchers said their new research provides new insight into the impacts of fracking on coal mining in New York and the US, as well as the impact of other energy technologies on coal production in the United States.
“We wanted to explore whether these technologies have any impact on coal, specifically on the coal-fired power generation sector in New England,” study lead author Dr. Scott McAllister, an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts, said in a statement.
“This is a timely topic, given that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a cap on natural gas production, while the White House has said that it’s considering a ban on fracking in the state.”
McAllisters study was published in the journal Geology.
The paper was supported by the Natural Resources Defense Council.