Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More on the fracking debate

The Association of American State Geologists recently published a document on their view of Hydraulic Fracturing (a.k.a. fracking, fracing, hydrofracking) during natural gas production. As many of you know, this is a heated debate throughout the natural gas plays and one that has ramped up in my home state of Pennsylvania and in my current home of Ohio. It's a debate that I'm sure will continue on for a long time to come as both sides are not willing to budge.

Liberals are claiming fracking causes earthquakes (maybe partially true, but nothing more than 3.0 according to AASG), methane-contaminated groundwater, and more. Conservatives argue we need to push natural gas as a "sustainable alternative to oil production" (flawed argument...non-renewable resources cannot be use sustainably as using them depletes their supply). What I enjoyed most about AASG's short 2-page article was the attention they brought to the true debate. Fracking doesn't cause these issues...yes, natural gas drilling may cause a few of these issues but it is not in the fracking itself. People need to learn their issues before they go berating any sort of development or process. They've jumped on the anti-fracking bandwagon with no regard for the education or processes behind it.

Horizontal drilling allows for more gas to be extracted from one
well compared to traditional vertical well drilling.

Would they rather we continue drilling vertical wells that don't require as much fracking? If so, you'll see 20 times (my estimate) the amount of wells that you would with today's horizontal well drilling.

 Yes, fracking is needed. Yes, natural gas drilling is needed. And yes...it needs to be taxed (but at a reasonable rate). You're not going to stop it. I'm sorry. March in the streets all you want, spend your days sitting in front of the White House....great. Support the industry and push for tighter environmental controls and increased research and development into this technology.

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