Opposition to DeGette-Casey Anti-Fracking Bill Mounts

As facts continue to circulate, and the public continues to learn more about the long, clear and uncompromising record of safety that hydraulic fracturing has built up over the past 60 years, local governments, columnists, and even left-of-center think tank-types continue to acknowledge that clean-burning American natural gas is key to creating jobs here at job home and increasing our nation’s security. And increasingly: they’re starting to recognize the critical role that hydraulic fracturing technology plays in making those gas resources possible.

Under the headline “Cities, counties oppose legislation on gas fracturing,” today’s Grand Junction Daily Senintel reports: 

  • Opponents of a measure that would give federal authority over hydraulic fracturing for natural gas have marshaled opposition from several Western Slope counties and cities. The measure sponsored by Reps. Diana DeGette and Jared Polis, Democrats from Denver and Boulder, respectively, has yet to garner the support of the congressional representatives of the districts in which most fracturing occurs.


  • Six counties, including Delta, Mesa, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties on the Western Slope, and Morgan and Weld counties in northern Colorado east of the Continental Divide, have adopted resolutions opposing the legislation.


  • The towns of Delta, Naturita, Nucla, Rangely and Grand Junction oppose the bill. The measure … is “vague and not narrowly tailored to balance and protect the important local, state and domestic interests of resource exploration,” Grand Junction Mayor Bruce Hill said in a council-authorized letter to legislators. “Please do not allow a vague bill to be passed,” the Grand Junction letter said.”

Denver Post columnist, Vincent Carroll, goes even further in today’s paper. Under the headline “Fracking scare tactics,” Carroll opines this:

  • Want to give the federal government more power to regulate an industry? Start by telling scare stories to alarm the public and set the industry on its heels. U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, a Boulder Democrat, proved a quick study this month when he joined several colleagues, including Colorado’s Diana DeGette, in introducing the “FRAC Act” – the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act – which would add a layer of regulation over a technology used to boost natural gas production.”


  • So just how many times has fracking been linked to the contamination of drinking water because of migrating chemicals? Would you believe zero – despite its use in literally hundreds of thousands of gas wells, including nearly all in Colorado? … There are no documented cases of groundwater contamination caused by fracking. … And no wonder. The fracking liquids would typically have had to migrate thousands of feet through layers of impervious shale to reach groundwater.”


  • Surely Congress, in these fragile economic times, can find better things to do.”

Today, 9 out of 10 wells produced in America are fracked. Without this environmentally-safe technique, clean-burning natural gas production would be dramatically disrupted, or altogether stopped. This threat, posed by the DeGette-Casey FRAC Act, makes comments from Charles Ebinger, Director of the Brookings Institute Energy Security Initiative, that much more profound. In an analysis regarding G8 energy policy, Edbinger wrote this:

  • After Copenhagen, as energy experts rather than environmentalists hopefully take the reins of U.S. energy policy formulation, the outlines for a sound policy that will also benefit the climate until a carbon tax can be implemented are clear: (1) an aggressive push both in the United States and Europe to develop unconventional shale gas for base load power generation. In the case of the United States, shale gas has raised U.S. natural gas reserves over the last 4 years by 35%.

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