High energy costs have only compounded our country’s economic struggles. Fortunately, an alternative to costly foreign energy has emerged: Hydraulic fracturing, a.k.a. fracking, is a promising technique that can provide both cheaper energy production and job creation.
Myth #1: Hydraulic fracturing threatens underground water sources and has led to the contamination of drinking water.
Fact: Hydraulic fracturing is subject to both federal and state regulations, and there have been no instances of fracking causing contamination of drinking water.
Myth #2: The chemicals used in the fracking process are foreign chemicals that industry hides from the public.
Fact: Fracking fluid, made primarily of sand and water, uses a small percentage of chemicals that have common household applications and are regulated by the state.
Myth #3: Wastewater from hydraulic fracturing is dangerous and unregulated.
Fact: Companies dispose of, and recycle, wastewater using many different methods, all of which are compliant with existing federal and state laws.
Myth #4: Fracking causes earthquakes.
Fact: The fracking process itself does not cause earthquakes; in rare instances, the use of underground injection wells (for storage) has caused earthquakes. Induced seismic activity from many underground energy activities is not a new phenomenon and has been closely monitored by the Department of Energy.
Fracking, when regulated correctly, is a safe and necessary means of energy production and job creation in the United States, Loris argues:
Yale Graduates Energy Study Group calculated that in 2010 alone, the consumer surplus (the consumer savings or gain from reductions in price) from shale gas production was worth over $100 billion. The technological one-two punch of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has created a remarkable energy boom and created hundreds of thousands of jobs in the U.S. The possibility of continuously low natural gas prices is turning the United States into a prime destination for chemical companies and other businesses that rely on abundant amounts of natural gas.
While fracking has helped to alleviate the insurmountable foreign energy prices, there are still many critics.
But these facts prove that it is a safe and reliable means for energy production. Through the combined efforts of entrepreneurs and state regulators, fracking has the potential to be the highlight of the 21st century global quest for affordable energy. Congress simply has to ensure the federal government doesn’t interfere with this new industry.
Do you think fracking will allow for reliable energy production on American land?