New report from Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) finds states best-equipped to regulate, oversee local energy development
Hydraulic fracturing is a “critical component” of responsible energy development in America, a means of accessing more energy from fewer wells, and a process that is “managed best at the state level where regional and local conditions are understood” says a report funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy and released by the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC)
What’s more? “Based on over 60 years of practical application … there is nothing to indicate that when coupled with appropriate well construction, the practice of hydraulic fracturing … endangers ground water.”
Who is this GWPC outfit, you ask? Well, considered “one of the nation’s leading groundwater protection organizations” by journalists and outside practitioners, GWPC is based in Oklahoma City and frequently teams up with federal agencies such as the Department of Energy (DOE) to publish important scholarship on the science and technology involved in keeping America’s ground and drinking water safe and secure.
Just this past April, in fact, GWPC and DOE released a primer on America’s shale gas potential seeking to provide “regulators, policy makers, and the public with an objective source of information on the technology advances and challenges that accompany deep shale gas development.” Apparently, Capitol Hill lawmakers are taking its findings seriously, organizing a congressional hearing on Capitol Hill this Thursday to take a closer look at the extraordinary potential of responsible shale gas exploration.
As for the more recent GWPC study, what follows are a couple key excerpts pulled from the report’s text:
- The “regulation of oil and gas field activities is managed best at the state level where regional and local conditions are understood and where regulations can be tailored to fit the needs of the local environment.”
- “Current state regulation of oil and gas activities is environmentally proactive and preventive.”
- “The only alternative to fracturing the producing formations in reservoirs with low permeability would be to drill more wells in an area.”
- It is “not unreasonable to conclude that the risk of fracture fluid intrusion into ground water from hydraulic fracturing … could be considered very low.”
- “Based on over 60 years of practical application and a lack of evidence to the contrary, there is nothing to indicate that when couple with appropriate well construction, the practice of hydraulic fracturing in deep formations endangers ground water.”
- “There is also a lack of demonstrated evidence that hydraulic fracturing conducted in many shallower formations presents a substantial risk of endangerment to ground water.”