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Environmental activists who oppose hydraulic fracturing—and the oil and natural gas it produces—have more science to ignore. The latest study is in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A team, led by a Yale University researcher, looked at 64 natural gas wells in Pennsylvania three to five years after drilling and found:
There was no evidence of association with deeper brines or long-range migration of these compounds to the shallow aquifers.
In laymen’s terms, the act of drilling thousands of feet below the surface (far below drinking water supplies) and hydraulically fracturing natural gas wells does not contaminate drinking water.
Another way of putting it is: Josh Fox doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Add this study to the growing list of research confirming that hydraulic fracturing is a safe way to develop energy:
- The Energy Department looked at wells in the Marcellus Shale and found that neither natural gas nor hydraulic fracturing fluid traveled upward through the rock.
- EPA found hydraulic fracturing has not had “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water.”
It's no wonder that Secretary of Energy (and physicist) Ernest Moniz said, “To my knowledge, I still have not seen any evidence of fracking per se contaminating groundwater.”
This reminds us that states are successfully regulating hydraulic fracturing. Duplicative federal regulations aren’t needed. Also, states and local governments should rethink their bans on the technology.
When done properly hydraulic fracturing produces abundant energy that powers the American economy, creates jobs, and saves consumers money.
[H/t Ron Bailey at Reason.com.]