Thanks for the Recommended Reading,
Mr. Shipper. How Accurate Is It?
At the last BOCC Meeting, July 13, 2011, Commissioner Shipper made available copies of "The Facts About Fracking," from the OPINION page of the Wall Street Journal, Review and Outlook section.
When he presented the copies, Mr. Shipper indicated that it was an enlightening piece and worthy of reading. We read it. We were enlightened.
The unsigned piece warmly reports that 72,000 jobs have been created between 2009-2011 in Pennsylvania alone and that oil shale is responsible for North Dakota's 3.2% unemployment rate: the lowest in the nation in the least populated state in the nation. But fracking has its critics, who have made a great deal of noise, the piece points out, and its job is to answer their allegations with "truth."
The piece says that fracking seems to contaminate drinking water in only 68 of the 20,000 wells drilled in Pennsylvania and that leaky well casings can likely cause contaminated drinking water. But that's not unique to fracking, because fracking happens so far underground that it couldn't possibly affect well water, which is above the shale.
states demanding to know what's in the fracking fluid and imposing stiff penalties for violations regarding illegal dumping of it. (Perhaps they began requiring that because of the toxic chemicals in previous fracking fluid concentrations).
Does fracking cause cancer? Naw: they looked at Dish, Texas, which has a bunch of smokers. Does it cause earthquakes? Naw: it's no different from geothermal exploration, which the tone of the piece suggests, takes place in everyone's backyard daily. Do trucks cause pollution? Not as much as they generate money. Is shale exploration unregulated? Pennsylvania has regulations; Texas has regulations. It's only New York that's lagging behind in the economic boom: it has a moratorium. Bad New York. They're studying the Delaware River. Maybe the EPA will muscle in. Bad for business.
The piece then finishes with an admonition about being a responsible driller and preventing hysteria by making sure nothing is amiss.
When he presented this piece for public dissemination, perhaps Mr. Shipper did not realize that over 900 replies were generated in response to it on the WSJ webpage and over three quarters of them were negative. Perhaps his attendance at the Carlson Building on July 20th, where Mrs. Duvall is showing Gaslands, about fracking in Garfield County, Colorado, would be beneficial to his point of view and he can then present an array of facts at the next BOCC meeting for public dissemination.
The piece also addresses the allegation that fracking releases toxic or radioactive chemicals, which is dismissed as nonsense. Nothing more than the citric acid you might find in Mountain Dew! Besides, there are