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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Former EPA Official: Fracking is "Pretty Benign"

From the Anniston Star:
J. Winston Porter is trying to make the other side of the fracking argument known. 
"I'm not trying to sell anything," he said. "I'm just trying to give pros and cons." 
Porter, an independent environmental consultant and former Environmental Protection Agency assistant administrator, spoke Tuesday at Anniston’s Noon Rotary Club meeting. 
The title of Porter’s talk was “America’s Energy Future,” but the discussion quickly turned to natural gas -– and the possibility of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the Talladega National Forest. 
Porter said that concerns over potential water contamination should be tempered with the knowledge that drilling for fracking operations occurs more than a mile below drinking water wells. Porter also said that the clean fuel natural gas provides is preferable to coal and has recently become more cost-effective. 
"Once it gets going, it's pretty benign," Porter said of the environmental impact from fracking operations. 
Earlier this spring, the Bureau of Land Management announced plans to auction leases to 43,000 acres for potential oil and gas drilling. The auction had been planned for June 14, but the federal agency put that on hold after outcry from residents and conservation groups concerned about the potential environmental impact, and after U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks, argued more time was needed for public input.
Read the rest of the article here.

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