This week, the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) in Canada released information about an incident in Alberta involving oil and gas development and hydraulic fracturing. As with any news of this nature, opponents have been quick to seize on it as “proof” that “oil and gas companies cannot adequately manage the risks” of development. We know that’s false, but we also know that anti-shale activists will try to leverage the event into as much media attention as possible. Before leaping to conclusions, though, we’re going to take a look at the actual facts of the case.
When we talk about shale development, states like Maine and Connecticut aren’t normally a part of the conversation. But this week, a new report shows that the benefits of shale development extend all across the nation – even in states without any actual shale resources to speak of.
A recent Bloomberg National Poll that found an increase in public support for more regulation on hydraulic fracturing appears to have made three key mistakes – asking a question of the wrong group of people, asking it in the wrong way, and asking it after a series of other questions that may have affected the results. As a result, this poll doesn’t add any substance to the debate over hydraulic fracturing, and is actually quite misleading.
President Obama’s Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner recently offered an interesting assessment of the state of the U.S. economy – one worth remembering as we debate the future of energy policy. “The economy now is actually looking quite resilient,” Geithner told NBC News, before adding that two of the biggest reasons are domestic oil and gas production and domestic manufacturing. “If you look at what’s happening in energy, enormous boom,” Geithner said. “In manufacturing, [the country is having] one of the strongest periods in manufacturing revival that we’ve seen in almost a generation.”
This week, a group called Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy (PSEHE) organized a petition to urge the United States to block natural gas exports. Their reasoning? Exports of natural gas would increase the use of hydraulic fracturing and thus, they claim, the public’s exposure to adverse health effects. We’re here to set the record straight.
As many of you know, environmental groups like our friends at Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment (SAFE) and Food & Water Watch, among others, have relentlessly pushed for a ban on hydraulic fracturing, relying heavily on false characterizations of the process. To help prevent these myths from being ingrained in the minds of Illinoisans as truth, EID has just released a new one-page fact sheet for Illinois that dispels some of the biggest misconceptions about hydraulic fracturing.
Recently, a media outlet with a track record of aggressively protecting its own proprietary information published an article that called into question how some contractors have chosen to use the Texas hydraulic fracturing fluid disclosure provision since the law became effective in February of this year. The article contained numerous quotes from well-known anti-energy development activists and politicians with long track records opposing responsible development of our nation’s bountiful oil and natural gas reserves.
Folks who stayed up after Led Zeppelin’s interview and guest performance on the Late Show with David Letterman last night were treated to a short segment featuring John Krasinski, one of the stars of “Promised Land.” The two discussed several topics, but when the conversation turned to the technical details of hydraulic fracturing, things got really silly.
On Friday, ABC aired an episode of the sitcom “Last Man Standing” entitled “Mother Fracker,” a reference to the fact that the show’s on-screen mom (Vanessa Baxter) works as a geologist for an energy company. When Vanessa goes to her daughter Eve’s school to discuss her job, the class of early teens (and the teacher) all accuse her of harming the environment and apparently even causing cancer. Ultimately, however, the show provides some much-needed perspective on today’s ongoing debate over hydraulic fracturing.