Shale gas, a natural gas formed from being trapped within shale formations, has become an increasingly popular and controversial energy alternative in the U.S. Some believe the development of the gas can actually help the environment by decreasing greenhouse emissions, but others aren't so sure.
Either way, other countries like Poland want to get in on the action now. The European nation has announced plans for commercial production of up to 1 billion cubic meters per year, starting in 2014.
With estimated reserves of 5.3 trillion cubic meters, the country's treasury minister believes they will last for decades.
This is good news for the natural gas industry, but bad news for environmentalists who believe the process of extracting the energy resource may do more harm than good by aggravating global warming. A 2011 study cautioned that fracking for shale gas may cause just as much or more greenhouse gas emission than oil or coal.
Which side of the debate are U on?
Tags: cubic meters, emission, european, global warming, greenhouse gas, methane, poland, shale gas, treasury