Yale Environment 360
The surge in U.S. production of shale gas is leading to the rapid expansion of chemical and manufacturing plants that use the gas as feedstock. But environmentalists worry these new facilities will bring further harm to industrialized regions already bearing a heavy pollution burden.
The hydraulic fracturing of shale formations in the United States has led to a bonanza of natural gas production and a well-publicized drop in natural gas prices. But another, less-heralded development also is closely tied to the shale gas revolution — the rapid growth of chemical plants and manufacturing facilities that use cheap natural gas to produce key ingredients found in everything from plastics to fertilizer to liquid fuels.