Monday, October 15, 2012

Fracking is an opportunity for California and not a threat

As I've said before, I have mixed feelings about CA stumbling onto the right thing.  Stumbling?  Because as of now and with all that I've read CA could never do the right thing on purpose.  It would only happen by accident.

CA has to do the right thing not only fiscally, but morally as well.  If not both, the added drilling will only embolden CA to cook up more hairbrained, messed up plans to squash businesses.  In the meantime, another breath of fresh air coming out of CA.

Despite its impressive track record, activist groups with extreme anti-industry views — such as Washington, D.C.-based Food & Water Watch — want hydraulic fracturing banned as a de facto means of putting the oil and gas industry out of business, and millions of oil and gas workers out of their jobs. These groups claim that fracturing technology is unsafe, but that is simply untrue.

Just ask the Obama administration and its expert advisers.

“There’s a lot of hysteria that takes place now with respect to hydraulic fracking,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told Congress earlier this year. “It can be done safely and has been done safely hundreds of thousands of times,” says Salazar, who oversees oil and gas activity on roughly 700 million acres of federal lands, including 47 million acres in California. According to Stanford University geophysicist Mark Zoback, an adviser to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, “the mystery surrounding hydraulic fracturing has actually been exacerbated and people have been paranoid, really for no reason.”

This paranoia includes the mistaken belief that fracturing shale contaminates groundwater and causes damaging earthquakes. “Fracturing fluids have not contaminated any water supply,” Zoback says. As for earthquakes, Zoback says the seismic energy released by the process is “about the same amount of energy as a gallon of milk falling off a kitchen counter,” and the National Academy of Sciences recently concluded fracturing “does not pose a high risk for inducing felt seismic events.”

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