ICYMI: Support for Hydraulic Fracturing, America’s Shale Gas Not a Partisan Affair

Democrats Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), Dan Boren (D-Okla.) share their states’ experiences with safe, well-regulated technology used to produce secure, American energy

 Sen. Dorgan, chairman of the Energy Appropriations subcommittee and member of the Energy & Natural Resources committee, said this in a floor speech this week:

  • We need to continue to develop resources at home if we are going to become less dependent on foreign energy.
  • We are now discovering new fields in shale and tight sands reservoirs because we can use technologies that we could not benefit from 5 and 10 years ago. Just think we now explore 2 miles beneath the surface of the Earth areas of shale and go into seams 100-foot thick. We have the ability to drill down 2 miles, make a big curve, and drill out 2 miles to reach the resource. So you have a 4-mile circuit with this one drilling rig and you go into a shale deposit more than out 2 miles out. To exploit the resource, companies use hydraulic fracturing by using water under high pressure. It allows them to break down that shale, and you have oil production.
  • The U.S. Geological Survey did a survey in North Dakota in an area called the Bakken shale. It is an area about 100-foot thick 2 miles down. They said using today’s technology there is up to 4.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil in place. That is the largest assessment of recoverable oil they have ever found in the Lower 48 States. Think of that. But none of that resource would be available without the use of hydraulic fracturing.
  • By the way, this issue of hydraulic fracturing – water under high pressure to break that shale – we have been doing that for 60 years. There has been many studies, and there is simply no problem with it when properly applied. These studies show that it does not contaminate groundwater. In fact, the EPA itself did a study in 2004 and concluded there is no problem.
  • Well, some of our colleagues are concerned, and they have legislation to regulate hydraulic fracturing on a federal level. In the House Interior Appropriations bill, there was a requirement for the EPA to do a study. … I do not mind there being a study because I believe that it will demonstrate what we already know and what the EPA has previously discovered in their study.
  • This issue of hydraulic fracturing is not a problem. We do need to continue to produce more energy in this country to make us less dependent on foreign oil and find ways to use more domestic natural gas. It is just a fact, and it will not continue unless we can continue the hydraulic fracturing that unleashes the opportunity of these oil and natural gas fields.
  • NOTE: Click HERE to view this floor speech. Also, the Associated Press reported this week that North Dakota, thanks in large part to hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques, is now the nation’s 4th biggest oil producing state in the nation, according to the US Energy Dept.

Rep. Boren, co-chair of the bipartisan House natural gas caucus and member of the Natural Resources committee, said this on CNBC’s “Mad Money” this week:

  • I’d say they are misinformed. For those of us that have been around the oil patch our whole life, you know about hydraulic fracturing and that’s been the big issue people are talking about.
  • There have been over 1 millions wells drilled and some folks can only point to 3 examples where they think hydraulic fracturing had anything to do with the water supply. And actually we can debunk those 3 cases.
  • This is very safe. And the fuel we’re bringing out, this natural gas,  is very clean.
  • We’ve had a lot of environmental groups actually come to us and say we want to support you. We’re on your side. How often does that happen when you have the environmentalists and the oil and gas community on the same page?
  • NOTE: Click HERE to view this CNBC clip.
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