A new study released by the World Health Organization (WHO) says although outdoor air pollution worldwide has increased by 8% in the past five years, air quality in the United States has become cleaner. A key reason that air quality has improved is because more Americans than ever are now relying on natural gas, and burning natural gas emits fewer pollutants into the atmosphere than burning coal.
The air in this country is getting cleaner, and natural gas deserves some fracking credit.
Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, has turned the U.S. into the largest producer of natural gas in the world. Fracking has unleashed so much natural gas that prices have plummeted in the past several years, which has made it cheaper to generate electricity from burning natural gas than from coal. This is an important part of explaining why WHO recorded lower levels of air pollutants in the U.S.
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