Hydraulic fracturing to extract oil and gas cannot cause earthquakes or ground water contamination
DALLAS (April 3, 2012) – Despite persistent scares reported in the mainstream press, government regulators say the decades old practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of bedrock to extract oil and gas reserves is absolutely safe for our environment.
“The time we spend on hydraulic fracturing and issues like that, that are really not issues of high risk factors for ground water contamination, is time and money that can’t be spent on things that really cause ground water contamination,” said Mike Nickolaus, a top geologist for the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC), a non-partisan government regulatory agency, “things we know about like pesticides, and nutrients, and septic systems and things we know for a fact are causing ground water contamination.”
When asked about reports that fracking may be causing earthquakes, the executive director of the GWPC, Pike Paque, replied “the fracturing takes place at such a depth and such a relatively low pressure that when the rock is fractured what you’re creating are very small separations in the rock that don’t go very far, a few hundred feet at most, and while you can measure the seismic events … , they are called micro seismic events, they’re such it can’t be felt at the surface. They are not in essence earthquakes as you would think of earthquakes.”
When Mason asked Paque “(so) people are scared about the wrong boogieman, fracking isn’t it? But there are serious concerns that we can look at that fracking has nothing to do with in the protection of our water and our environment?” Paque replied “that sums it up well.”Both Paque and Nickolaus made their comments by conference phone, Paque from his office in Oklahoma City and Nickolaus from his home office in Granbury, Texas, on the ScienceNews Radio Network program, the Promise of Tomorrow with Colonel Mason. The program originates in Dallas, Texas, and is now archived and Webcast for its world audience.
“The amount of jobs created by this industry are breathtaking,” added Nickolaus, “I think the natural gas boom has the potential to free us up from many sources of foreign petroleum. Obviously it is a huge game changer as far as energy in this country is concerned.”
Natural gas as an alternative fuel and fracking scares will come under continued study at the Fourth Annual Green Technologies Conference produced by Region 5 of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) held April 19-22, 2012, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The public is urged to attend by registering at the website.
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