Regulators, County Govt. Chiefs, The Voice of Business: Fracking is Well-Regulated, Should be Left to States
The dog days of summer have been particularly unpleasant for those advocating for a one-size-fits-all, federal takeover of the 60-year old energy production technique known as hydraulic fracturing. The attack on the safe, well-regulated practice has not gone unmet, though. As the facts continue to spread (which fracking opponents fear), and the more the public understands the far-reaching consequences of the DeGette/Casey anti-natural gas production legislation, the louder and more focused the outcry has been.
Recently, energy regulators, county government officials, and local chambers of commerce, as well as the U.S. Chamber, have gone on record supporting the production of clean-burning natural gas through hydraulic fracturing, all highlighting the economic and long-term energy security benefits this practice brings to the country. Fracking, of course, is the linchpin, to achieving these shared goals.
Lou Santoni, Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce, penned this in a Press & Sun-Bulletin column:
- At a time when our country is desperately seeking to become more energy-independent and our region is struggling to launch its own natural gas development industry sector, it is ironic that some in Congress are attempting to further restrict our domestic energy production by attacking a decades-old technology that provides 30 percent of the nation’s oil and natural gas supplies.
- U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-Hurley…along with a couple of his colleagues, recently introduced the FRAC Act – Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act – a bill which would, in effect, take a long-established and safe drilling technology called hydraulic fracturing and redefine the process as some kind of health threat while severely restricting the ability to use it.
- The proponents of the FRAC Act can’t cite any evidence to support their environmental and health hazard claims, so they’re resorting to scare tactics to justify this unnecessary, bureaucratic grab that will further jeopardize our domestic energy resources. We urge Hinchey and his colleagues to withdraw this bill, and, as Colorado’s governor recommends, get the facts first.
Santoni’s comments came after Barbara Fiala (D), Broome County, NY’s executive, wrote this op-ed in the Press & Sun-Bulletin:
- As Broome County executive, I have tried to balance the competing views surrounding the Marcellus Shale. I believe it is possible to develop natural gas resources and to provide reasonable protection for the environment. Development, however, is currently held hostage by state government.
- Development of the Marcellus Shale presents an enormous economic opportunity. … The 10-year “total economic activity” in Broome County will be in the billions of dollars. The economic benefits for the state, including tax receipts, will be even greater. This opportunity is presented at a time when our economy is suffering.
- None of these proposals are new. Horizontal drilling has already occurred in the Barnett Shale in north Texas and other areas of the Marcellus.
Oklahoma’s Corporation Commission chairman, Bob Anthony, wrote this in The Oklahoman:
- As adopted by the 50-state National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), the resolution supports continued state regulation of hydraulic fracturing, a completion technique used in the majority of oil and gas wells. This is the first resolution I have proposed in my 20 years on the NARUC Gas Committee. Another principal author is Dana Murphy, Oklahoma’s newest corporation commissioner, who has more than 20 years of experience as a geologist and attorney.
- This isn’t a new technology, but one that has been used successfully to complete Oklahoma oil and gas wells for 60 years in tens of thousands of applications with no known cases of drinking water contamination.
- Oklahomans know state regulation can best deal with differences in geology, hydrology, climate and local water availability. Now, so does NARUC.
Bill Kovacs, vice president for the Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, laid the facts out this in blog post:
- Even now as Congress embarks on its “Green Journey” it is allowing the environmental groups to kill, one by one, many of the wind, solar and transmission line Green Projects. By not worrying about the facts or the consequences, Congress can promote theoretical green jobs while kill existing, high paying jobs in the oil, gas, coal, nuclear and transmission industries. So the short answer as to why Congress wants to ban hydraulic fracturing is – Congress is not about the facts, it is merely about the politics.
- Unfortunately as American citizens we need to worry about running the country. And to run the U.S. we need energy and lots of it. By using hydraulic fracturing we can produce over 100 years worth of American energy without any environmental consequences.
- Hydraulic fracturing can produce vast amount of energy for decades. Tell your representative why we need it and make any representative that rejects it explain how we can run the country without it.