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Monday, September 23, 2013

Editorial: With Proper Attention to Minimizing Risk, Fracking is Worth the Reward

From The Columbus Dispatch:
When a former U.S. energy secretary tells a Columbus audience that hydraulic fracturing to extract oil and natural gas from shale formations can be done in a clean, safe way, that it’s all a matter of fixing errors in the process, that should inspire confidence.
And that’s obviously great news for Ohio, which has started to benefit economically from advances in this extraction process. Because of the newly accessible supply of natural gas, consumers have seen the cost come down after spiking in 2008, and prices could stay in the current range for decades.
Steven Chu, energy secretary under President Barack Obama from 2009 until this past April and now a Stanford University physics professor, was the keynote speaker on Tuesday at a conference by America’s Natural Gas Alliance. He called it a “false choice” to say that the U.S. has to choose between the environment and inexpensive natural gas.
He said about a study out of Cornell University that warns of methane leakage from gas production, which is commonly cited by groups that oppose “fracking”: “We didn’t think it was credible. I’ll just put it that way.”
The enormous promise of fracking can be realized, as long as thoughtful safety and environmental rules are in place: “You can have your cake and eat it, too.”
Read the whole editorial here. 

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