Monday, July 16, 2012

Add Two More Articles to the Pile That Claim to Tell the Truth About Hydraulic Fracturing

We have pointed out several of the frequent industry-backed articles that appear in various places offering to explain the truth about fracking, as well as the activist-backed articles that do the same while telling a very different story.  There have even been a couple of objective articles which gave some insight on fracking.

Well, now there are two more to add to the list.

The first comes from Energy in Depth spokesperson Steve Everley via the Washington Legal Foundation.  Here is an excerpt:

"What's in a name?" asked Juliet of her dear, sweet Romeo. It was a fitting question, as the eternal conflict between the Montagues and Capulets stemmed not from any real or qualitative differences, but rather from simple family tradition. Tensions borne of simple misperceptions can and often do eventually subside, but traditions have much stronger staying power, and do not typically end with the passage of time or the injection of facts.
 
Perhaps those of us who are interested in oil and gas development -- supportive or opposed -- should review our old high school literature exams. 
It's all in a name, really: Opponents have latched on to a harsh-sounding name -- "fracking," a percussive, abbreviated form of "hydraulic fracturing" -- and used it to fuel public opposition to the exploration of American energy resources. 
A closer look at the record, though, suggests that impacts from "fracking" are rarely based on scientific findings or even on basic facts. Yet opponents have effectively driven their own un-reality into public discourse, saturating the media with so many falsehoods that reporters mischaracterize the process now as a matter of AP-style. Incentivized by the prospect of a catchy headline, reporters ascribe "fracking" to elements of oil and gas development far removed from the actual process. 
The result? Despite clear scientific evidence showing otherwise, a still small (but growing) segment of the American public believes the completion of a well via the fracturing process -- something performed safely and successfully since the Truman administration -- is all of a sudden a serious threat to the environment. And unfortunately, a deliberate and well-funded misinformation campaign continues to perpetuate such fears -- not in an attempt to protect the environment, but rather to feed an opposition campaign driven by ideology.
Read the rest of that article here.

The next comes from the Dodge City Daily Globe:
America is truly in the midst of a revolution in oil and natural gas.  The oil and natural gas industry is one of the few industries that have created jobs throughout the recession and is the nation’s fastest growing manufacturing sector.  New and evolving technologies like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have allowed oil and gas companies to access reserves of previously-unrecoverable oil and natural gas.  Our nation’s energy security is being enhanced with the discovery of about 20 new onshore oilfields over the past few years that could collectively increase the nation’s oil output by 25%, add $1 trillion to the U.S. economy, and add 1.3 million new jobs within a decade.  But the oil from these tightly-packed rocks can be extracted only by using hydraulic fracturing.
Hydraulic fracturing is a process consisting of pumping a mixture of water and sand at high pressure into isolated zones to enhance the natural fractures that exist in the formation.  During the process, long, narrow cracks are created to serve as a flow channel for oil and natural gas trapped in the formation.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy and the Ground Water Protection Council, hydraulic fracturing fluids consist of about 99.5% water and sand.  Small amounts of other compounds, like detergent, make up the remaining 0.5% of the fluid.
Hydraulic fracturing has been effectively regulated by state governments and oversight agencies since its inception in 1947.  As a matter of fact, the first well to be hydraulically fractured in the U.S. was in Grant County, Kansas in 1947.  At both the federal and state level, all of the laws, regulations, and permits that apply to oil and natural gas exploration and production activities also apply to hydraulic fracturing.  In addition to the extensive federal and state regulatory apparatus in place to regulate hydraulic fracturing, potential risks to ground water is further reduced by physical factors such as vertical distance between the fractured zone and ground water (ranging from about 1,000-8,000 feet or more) and geological barriers to fluid migration.
Read the rest of that article here.

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