A report by 60 Minutes takes an in-depth look at the issue of shale gas drilling, weighing safety concerns against the benefits of minimizing the United States” dependence on foreign energy supplies.

Advances in extracting natural gas from shale have opened up the potential for a huge new domestic energy source in the United States, where natural gas is stored in abundance in rock formations miles underground. However, concerns about water contamination and other safety hazards persist, as some residents near gas drilling sites have reported instances of gas in their tap water, which, in some cases, has made the water flammable and forced people to turn to bottled water to meet their daily needs.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is just starting to study the effects of shale gas drilling and recently requested information from drilling companies on the chemicals used during the drilling process. Previously, many drilling companies were reluctant to disclose the chemicals used during the drilling process, arguing that the information was proprietary.

The 60 Minutes report features some interesting video sidebars, including:

To review the full 60 Minutes report on this story, click here.