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Friday, July 20, 2012

More on "fracking"

Building on my post from yesterday, today Forbes posted an article where a prominent natural gas industry leader has spoken out for more regulation over the industry.  This article high-lights one of the points I was making yesterday - "fracking" and "irresponsible fracking" are not the same thing.  It is the latter that we need to eliminate.  The article gives some good background on the development of modern hydraulic fracturing of shale to release natural gas, which is informative.  It follows the work of George Mitchell, who established some of the modern techniques that are leading to a boom in natural gas across the U.S.  He's quoted in the article as saying "The administration is trying to tighten up controls.  I think it's a good idea.  They should have very strict controls.  The Department of Energy should do it."  He goes on to say "Because if they don't do it right, there could be trouble.  There are good techniques to make it safe that should be followed properly."  In other words, it is not "fracking" itself that is a problem, but rather irresponsible fracking.  I completely agree.

Some of the comments suggest that this big-money corporate guy is just saying this to stomp out some competition, and that increased regulations will hurt the smaller drilling companies.  I don't see any reason why small drilling companies should be able to cause pollution problems just so they can compete with the larger firms.  We need to have laws in our lands that clearly make it a crime to cause pollution, and we need to have agencies that are equipped with the tools they need to adequately enforce the law.  That's where proper regulations come in.