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Fracking Gets a Fair Shake!

April 10, 2012

For anyone who thought this piece has to do with hydraulic fracturing or wastewater injection related seismicity, sorry to disappoint.  That topic will be covered in a future article. The plan is to post a series of pieces that demystify concerns over; • human health and safety, • the environment, • fresh water reserves, • air quality, and • seismic activity.

To start off, a report by Jazz Shaw, “EPA backs off on fracking contamination claims in Texas” in Hot Air, April 1, 2012, presented recent finding about allegations linking methane contaminated to shale gas production.

Shaw stated:

“….. the EPA has backed out of a lawsuit (involving alleged contamination of ground water by energy exploration efforts) and said that their claims cannot be backed up by the evidence.”

“….. the agency told a federal judge it withdrew an administrative order that alleged Range Resources Corp. had polluted water wells in a rural Texas county west of Fort Worth.”

“….. the EPA sued Range for not complying with its order (to supply water to the affected residents, identify how gas was migrating into the aquifer, stop the flow and clean up the water), Range appealed, arguing that the agency’s analysis was inconclusive. It pointed to nearby water wells that were known to contain high concentrations of gas long before it began drilling.”

“….. it’s also true that you can do that (setting water on fire from natural gas coming up from wells) in homes with in-ground wells all over Pennsylvania and Virginia in places where no drilling has taken place.”

“….. last year that gas most likely seeped into the aquifer from a shallow pocket of gas nearby, not the Barnett Shale, thousands of feet underground, from which Range was producing gas.”

The answers lay in the fact that modern shale gas development is technologically driven and must be treated as such. Unproven cost cutting measures and process deviations are unacceptable.  60 plus years of experience tells us, shale gas can be safely managed and controlled.

In closing, it’s acknowledged that EPA’s change of position, will not detract the greedy, sensationalists and uninformed from its anecdotal attack on the shale gas industry.  Our litigacious society supports such actions. Sooner or later the beneficial economic and environmental impact will out way false claims of “fracking fire in the sink. Done right, shale gas production is a low risk proposition.


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