Hydrofracturing allows natural gas to be collected from deposits that would otherwise be un accessible. With the increasing dependence on natural gas, this system mill only increase in profitability. The only caveat is that the fracturing be done in a prudent manor. Over fracturing an area or minimal fracturing in unstable bedrock can lead to many problems the economic as well as health costs. Such practices could lead to water contamination and can even degrade the bedrock to the point of creating earthquakes. These situations would cause the practice to become economically unsustainable.
Using fracking techniques to obtain more natural gas is not just convenient, it is actually the best current available method. Fracking is a win win: there is no serious environmental danger (contrary to many reports), the cost is lower, and natural gas is far cleaner than the coal that would otherwise be used.
It is not sustainable from an economic standpoint in the long run to use hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas. Fracking is destructive to local water systems, the health of citizens in the towns the technology is being used, and has been studied to encourage earthquakes. Disease, water contamination, and earthquake damage is economically destructive in the long-run.
Here in Arkansas where I live, we have already had our fair share of trouble from hydraulic fracturing, and found that it is not good for the long run. We have had many earthquakes that happened because of this process, and all of the under ground water is not undrinkable.
Fracking is a short-term process used to extract petroleum and natural gas from rocks. As with any fossil fuels, hydraulic fracturing is not a long-term economic activity. Companies will continue to use the technology until there is nothing left. There is nothing wrong with becoming more energy independent from the Middle East. However, alternatives will eventually have to be found such as electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell cars.