There was an interesting exchange this afternoon during a House hearing between Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer, an exchange that culminated in an apparent comparison of states regulating hydraulic fracturing to racial segregation.
With the right mix of technology, industry best practices and government regulation, America’s shale-gas success can be repeated across the globe, the International Energy Agency says.
So the members of the Vermont Legislature no doubt feel very good about themselves right now, but let’s be honest – this is not good public policy. And the potential for looking very silly somewhere down the road is very high. Believe me, I know from firsthand experience.
We’ve heard a lot about what the development of natural gas from shale is doing for the American economy: hundreds of thousands of jobs, lower prices for consumers, and a rebirth of domestic manufacturing. But now experts say shale will also facilitate the creation of a cutting edge technology: hydrogen fuel cells.
Whether we’re talking about the creation of 600,000 new jobs, the lowering of carbon emissions, the lessening of our dependence on foreign energy, or the nearly $250 billion in savings for natural gas customers—the development of natural gas from shale is reinvigorating our nation, and giving a boost to our economy while it’s at it.
Everyone knows the story of the boy who cried “wolf” – but have you heard the one about the state representative who cried “gas well”?
In the latest installment of the New York Times’ “Drilling Down” series, reporter Ian Urbina doubles down on his pre-conceived narrative that oil and natural gas development (particularly from shale) is inherently dangerous.
A paper from the Colorado School of Public Health (CSPH) suggests the development of oil and natural gas in general – and the use of hydraulic fracturing in particular – can cause “serious health impacts” for those who live closest to well sites. But if you look past the ominous headlines that the study launch generated and examine the range of strange assumptions that form the basis for the report, the conclusions are not only rendered fairly predictable, but also unquestionably flawed.
Last month, the journal of the National Ground Water Association published a paper suggesting that the vertical transport of contaminants from deep shale formations to near-surface aquifers is not only plausible, but likely – all because of hydraulic fracturing. It’s an explosive thesis, to be sure – but one that’s also fatally flawed; very good news for those of us who actually live here in upstate New York.
Fracturing proponents have struggled to gain the high ground in the debate on water quality, even as they debunked the myths time and again with facts and data. Fortunately, the groundwater issue may be losing traction, at least concerning some high-profile cases where the regulators recently have retracted allegations or reconsidered data. This is why the thrust of the manufactured narrative that fracturing is a menace to the environment is now shifting to air quality.
Last month, the Board of Trustees of Erie, Colo. backed by unanimous vote an ill-conceived moratorium on new permits for oil and gas development – a move that came less than a month and a half after rejecting essentially the same resolution by a 4 to 2 margin. Why the sudden reversal? Glad you asked.
Make no mistake, health impacts from natural gas production are not a foregone conclusion. Accepting them as one, in our judgment, is irresponsible and is a critical flaw that served as the foundation of this gathering.
Since Henry Ford introduced the world to the industrial assembly line in 1903, Detroit and Michigan have been synonymous with American manufacturing. Now, thanks in part to shale development, the Wolverine State is making its way back to the top of the mountain.