Read as much as you want on BostonGlobe.com, anywhere and anytime, for just 99¢.

Shale gas boom has benefits and risks

Lower energy costs welcomed, but harm to environment feared

A proposal to expand a major local pipeline could bring cheap, plentiful supplies of natural gas to New England from Northeast shale formations, but it also thrusts the region into a raging debate that pits economics against environment, industry against community, and sometimes neighbor against neighbor.

The focus is often on a controversial technique, known as fracking, that pumps chemical-laced, pressurized water deep into the earth to unlock natural gas trapped by shale rock. The technology has helped bring jobs, businesses, and money to poorer communities that desperately need it in places like western Pennsylvania.

Your comment is subject to the rules of our Posting Policy

This comment may appear on your public profile. Public Profile FAQ

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week