If you were wondering whether the debate over the safety and effectiveness of hydraulic fracturing has entered our national conciousness, check this out:
In a serious approach to the issue, the opinion magazine National Review recently joined in the conversation in a piece by Kevin Williamson, The Truth About Fracking – What the Protestors Don’t Know. The focus is on the Marcellus Shale, but his thesis applies everywhere there is horizontal drilling and fracking. These days, that is a lot of places.
Among his observations:
- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection receives high marks for competence and its application of common sense in regulating the handling of frack water.
- On the other hand is the fear that the EPA will adopt a top-down, one-size-fits-all aproach to fracking and frack-fluid regulation, ignoring the differences in geology and other factors in different producing areas.
- The industry is addressing the troublesome aspects of fracking. Frack water is being treated in innovative ways by companies like TerraAqua Resource Management.
- Producers like Fort Worth-based Range Resources are recognized for responsible environmental practices and efforts to minmize the impact of drilling on local communities.
- George Mitchell, and not your federal government, gets the credit for having the vision, conducting the research, and taking the enormous financial risks necessary to develop modern fracking techniques.
- He reveals distortions of fact presented in Gasland, the documentary allleging that a Colorado farmer’s tap water caught fire because of fracking. In fact, tap water in that community has been catching fire since at least the 1930’s.
- Natural gas development is responsible for thousands of new jobs in areas that need them, a fact that we Texans and our neighbors in Louisiana and Oklahoma have known for decades.