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Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has been at the center of much debate in the past decade. The process has had an enormous impact on the energy industry in the US, particularly with regard to natural gas markets. Natural gas will continue to play an important role in the energy future of the US, necessitating responsible developments in the oil and gas industry that will offer potential economic, energy security and environmental benefits across the country. The process of fracking was first discovered in the year 1866, by a Civil War veteran named Edward Roberts. Roberts observed artillery rounds being launched into the battlefield during the war and came up with an idea of creating a concentrated explosion of sorts inside of an oil well in Titusville, Pennsylvania. During this process, the "Roberts Torpedo" was lowered into the well to the spot (or as close to it as possible) where it

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Timeline

6/18/2013: Illinois governor signed strictest fracking law in nation

4/24/2013: Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that natural gas is not a "mineral"

3/6/2013: New York lawmakers approved two-year fracking moratorium

12/21/2012: EPA released progress report on study to better understand the effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water

9/4/2012: Attorneys for Pennsylvania state agencies submitted briefs in appeal on hydraulic fracturing zoning rights ruling

8/16/2012: Cabot Oil and Gas reached an undisclosed settlement with citizens of Dimock, Pennsylvania, on the issue of water supplies possibly contaminated by hydraulic fracturing

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