What You Should Know: Tomorrow’s Dept. of Interior Forum on Hydraulic Fracturing

Tomorrow, the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) – which oversees energy development on federal, taxpayer-owned land – will hold a forum focused on the 60 year-old oil and natural gas stimulation technology called hydraulic fracturing. This from DOI on the forum entitled “Natural Gas Hydraulic Fracturing on Public Lands,” which is set to go live at 1pm tomorrow:

As recently as November 3, 2010, President Obama reiterated his commitment to the development of natural gas resources. The Department of the Interior shares that commitment and wants to ensure that natural gas is developed in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner so that the U.S. can fully realize the economic, security, and environmental benefits of this important energy resource.

Energy In Depth will be on site, live-blogging the forum via our Twitter page, ensuring that the facts about this critical technology, and its long and clear record of environmental safety, are echoed and reinforced.

That said, it’s important for folks to understand how transformational – from an economic, environmental, energy security and geopolitical standpoint – this technology is, has and continues to be for our nation. Here’s a quick run-down about what they’re saying about fracture stimulation from the past few days:

  • Don’t halt ‘fracking,’ gas group says: The Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York says the moratorium, which currently is under consideration by the state Assembly, would halt most gas and oil drilling currently allowed. The group also says the proposed moratorium has flaws that would harm the state’s entire gas and oil industry. … The Independent Oil and Gas Association says the moratorium would bar safe drilling, result in the loss of 5,000 jobs and jeopardize $1 million in annual revenue the state collects in fees for traditional drilling permits. “The members of the Assembly must understand that (the proposed moratorium) would jeopardize an industry that has operated safely in New York for more than 100 years and employs more than 5,000 people today,” said Brad Gill, executive director of the association. “We hope the Assembly will allow the DEC to complete its review of the state’s regulations governing high-volume fracturing and not cave to the smear campaign being waged by radical opponents against the people of our industry.” (Kingston (NY) Daily Freeman, 11/27/10)
  • IGOA-NY: Assembly bill on hydrofracking would harm NY businesses: An Assembly bill to place a moratorium on oil and gas extraction using hydraulic fracturing will do significant harm to all of New York. The bill has several technical flaws. As written, it would halt a vast majority of the oil and gas drilling currently allowed in New York, which means the jobs of 5,000 New Yorkers would be in jeopardy and the 300-plus companies who employ those people would likely be forced out of business. (Syracuse Post-Standard, Brad Gill, 11/28/10)
  • Louisiana Editorial: Exploration – balance a must. Perhaps there have been too few stories of the jobs and other economic advantages and gestures of good will that often accompany oil and natural gas enterprises — from energy workers renovating a farmhouse at a wildlife refuge to new roads and bridges, teacher raises, or charitable donations and bequests to churches and nonprofits. For every story of hazard or greed, there’s another of helpfulness and philanthropy, especially in the two years since the discovery of the Haynesville Shale reworked this area’s landscape. (Shreveport Times Editorial, 11/28/10)
  • Wyo. Editorial: State should be thankful for better economy: New jobs numbers for Wyoming are positive, a good sign that as we celebrate Thanksgiving today, things are looking brighter for many families while our state continues to recover from the recession. Tax revenues that fund state government are also up, which bodes well for several job sectors in Wyoming. … The increased oil and gas activity has also hiked mineral severance taxes and royalties paid to the state. (Casper Star-Tribune Editorial, 11/25/10)
  • PA Paper: Businesses are booming, and unemployment has steadily decreased this year: Some businesses are booming, and unemployment has steadily decreased this year, due in part to the gas industry. … Chesapeake alone employs about 40,000 in the United States. It has 1,200 employees in Pennsylvania. Of those jobs, 500 are local and not drilling positions, Grove said. … “It’s a broader range of jobs, from blue collar to white collar,” Grove said. “The drilling part is big and unique.” … Stacie Schearer, a staffing specialist for Halliburton, was at a recent career day at Milton Area High School, handing out information to students about possible gas-drilling careers. (Daily Item, 11/28/10)
  • Wyoming job growth gains momentum: Wyoming’s economy continues to mend, adding 3,000 nonfarm jobs in October compared to a year earlier. In figures released Tuesday by the Research and Planning Section of the state Department of Employment, the natural resources and mining sector, including oil and gas, proved to be the biggest gainer. It added 3,100 jobs, or an increase of 12.8 percent, from October 2009, marking the fifth straight month of improvement. (Billings Gazette, 11/23/10)
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