We Need to Know
I very much appreciate the articles in The Pilot providing information on shale gas drilling (“fracking”). Since such drilling is new to the area, everyone needs to be informed about the process and the need for regulations to protect the public and the environment.
First, we need to be informed about the tremendous reserves of natural gas, liquid gas and oil that is found in shale rock formations virtually everywhere in our country. Drilling companies have recently improved the method of gathering these vast reserves by horizontal drilling. Estimates are that such reserves will provide a hundred-year supply of natural gas.
The economic and other benefits from developing this resource are huge. Among these are lease and royalty payments to landowners, job opportunities at better-than-average pay levels, enhanced tax revenues, and energy reserves independent of oil cartels and unfriendly governments.
Second, we need to be informed of the misinformation that will be circulated by those who have an agenda against oil companies, or perhaps an unrealistic viewpoint that “green” energy will satisfy our energy needs.
In that vein, I noted that two of the articles you printed on fracking made reference to a study by Duke professors that found drinking water wells near fracking wells had 17 times the normal level of methane gas. However, the report itself stated that it “lacked a strong scientific foundation” because it lacked information about the content of methane before drilling activities. And some wells not near a fracking well had similar high methane content.
There is a video circulating the Internet that contains a scene showing water coming out of a faucet that is set afire by a lighter. A report says the producer of that video has admitted the scene was a fake.
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