Fort Worth gets set for EPA info session on HF tonight

EPA’s science advisory board may have already released its scoping recommendations for the agency’s upcoming study on the safety and performance of hydraulic fracturing technology, but none of that is expected to take away from the circus atmosphere of tonight’s “public information session” hosted by EPA at the Hilton Fort Worth.

As of noon on Wednesday, more than 60 people had signed up for a speaking slot with EPA, according to a report in today’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Doors open at 5:00p local time, and from what we’ve been able to gather in surveilling the blog chatter this afternoon, the final number is expected to come in significantly higher than that. Now, how many of these folks will arrive with a willingness to engage in a constructive dialogue over the real history and real facts related to the 60-year history of safe fracturing operations nationwide? Guess we’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s news round-up to get a better sense of that.

Of course, unlike the upcoming EPA event in Binghamton, NY next month, activists and revisionists attending the session in Fort Worth this evening will be arriving in a city and state that continues to benefit handsomely from responsible shale gas exploration in general and innovative technologies such as hydraulic fracturing in particular. An information sheet compiled this week by EID, and sent along to folks we expect to attend today, provides a quantitative snapshot of precisely that phenomenon.

Take a look for yourself: In 2009, the state of Texas collected more than $1.4 billion – with a “B” – in state tax revenue – just from natural gas production. It took in another $883 million from its oil development – just about all of it made possible thanks to the safe and steady use of hydraulic fracturing. All told, more than 1.7 million people in the state owe their jobs to the continued use of these technologies. Thanks to the Barnett Shale, Texas is the most prolific producer of natural gas in the entire country. And our country, for what it’s worth, just recently surpassed Russia as the most prolific producer of natural gas in the entire world.

And just so you have it handy, here are a few other fact sheets and issue alerts we’re forwarding along to the folks expected to speak at and report on the EPA hearing this evening. More to come as EPA moves to Denver next, then on to PA, and finally wrapping it all up in NY.

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