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Amid fracking bans, Colorado discusses the controversial practice




Pump jacks are seen at dawn in an oil field over the Monterey Shale formation where gas and oil extraction using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is on the verge of a boom on March 24, 2014 near Lost Hills, California. Fracking has allowed oil and gas firms to tap new supplies and has led to a boom in some U.S. states but environmentalists have concerns. The BBC's Kim Gittleson reports from a Colorado fracking meeting.
Pump jacks are seen at dawn in an oil field over the Monterey Shale formation where gas and oil extraction using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is on the verge of a boom on March 24, 2014 near Lost Hills, California. Fracking has allowed oil and gas firms to tap new supplies and has led to a boom in some U.S. states but environmentalists have concerns. The BBC's Kim Gittleson reports from a Colorado fracking meeting.
David McNew/Getty Images

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This summer, the United States overtook Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world's largest oil producer.

And that's all due to one thing: the rise of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

It's a technique designed to recover gas and oil from shale rock by drilling down into the earth, where a high-pressure water mixture is injected into the rock to release the gas inside.

Fracking has allowed oil and gas firms to tap new supplies, and has led to a boom in some U.S. states like North Dakota and Pennsylvania.

But it has also drawn controversy, with environmentalists warning about negative health consequences.

That has led some towns to ban the practice.

The BBC's Kim Gittleson went to Colorado to find out more.

She begins her report at a public meeting about fracking in Denver.