Left, Right and Center: Members of Congress Say Hydraulic Fracturing is Safe, Helping to Create “Tremendous Economic Opportunity”

Congressman Chris Carney understands full-well how critical well-regulated, 21st century shale gas production – enabled by the 60-year old energy technology called hydraulic fracturing – is for his northeastern Pennsylvania congressional district, for his state and for the nation’s long-term security. Congressman Carney, vice-chairman of the Transportation & Infrastructure’s economic development panel – released a statement following EPA’s recent announcement to move forward with a new, comprehensive hydraulic fracturing study. The second-term congressman said this in a statement, which was highlighted by the Pocono (PA) News:

“The Marcellus Shale has presented our region with a tremendous economic opportunity and we must take every step necessary to ensure that the health of our families is not compromised as a result.”

And on the Senate side of the Capitol, long-time Democrat-turned Republican-turned Democrat Arlen Specter had this to say about EPA’s recent announcement:

“In Pennsylvania, the Marcellus Shale has the potential to create nearly 200,000 jobs and generate nearly $15 billion in the next decade – but the gas must be extracted in a way that does not endanger our water supply, the most precious natural resource of all. I look forward to this study’s progress and the lessons it will give us for how to best manage this important activity.”

Oklahoman senator James Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works panel, weighed in on EPA’s announcement last week, as well. Sen. Inhofe – a fierce HF defender – said this in a statement:

“The first use of hydraulic fracturing occurred near Duncan, Oklahoma in 1949. Since that time, hydraulic fracturing has become an essential production method in the completion of up to 80 percent of today’s natural gas wells. It has been used safely for decades and has helped strengthen America’s energy security and created millions of good-paying jobs.

Others are also saying that safe, responsible, well-regulated hydraulic fracturing is the linchpin to economic competitiveness, stable energy prices and American energy security. Energy In Depth’s executive director, Lee Fuller, echoed these facts in a statement, too:

“Fracturing has a long and clear record of safely leveraging otherwise unreachable homegrown, clean-burning, job-creating energy reserves. Today, the responsible development of America’s shale gas resources represents a crucial turning point for our nation’s long-term energy security. Hydraulic fracturing is the tool that can safely make this possible, and can continue to help lead us on a path toward stronger energy independence and economic competitiveness.”

And just today, the Wilkes-Barre (PA) Times Leader, under the headline “Some colleges add programs to train workers,” reports this:

The landscape of the state’s northern tier is changing as natural gas drillers set up shop from the Poconos west to Tioga County.

The burgeoning industry also is bringing change to the curricula at some local colleges hoping to capitalize on the need for a skilled and trained work force.

[Larry D. Milliken, director of energy programs at Lackawanna College] sees great potential for the field and the creation of jobs, as companies look to tap into the gas supplies within the Marcellus Shale, a layer of gas-laden rock about a mile underground across most of Pennsylvania.

I’m not sure most people realize the magnitude of what the Marcellus can mean and do for the state. … It’s going to be a huge game changer in Pennsylvania.”

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