So what’s all the fuss about fracking? Its most vocal opponents charge that fracking will burn your water, pollute your air, and cause the very ground to shift beneath you. The oil and gas industry, and many of those who benefit by the thousands of jobs it creates, obviously disagree. So who’s right?
Well, not being a scientist, I have to base my opinions on information I get from trusted sources, as do most of fracking’s detractors. And based on that information, my conclusion is this: Just as the Keystone pipeline opposition isn’t about pipelines, coal terminal alarmism isn’t about coal terminals, and tar sands obstructionism isn’t about tar sands; most of the fuss about fracking has little to do with the actual process and more to do with getting rid of fossil fuels.
Let’s start with a simple, verifiable fact: In its 60-plus-year history, there has been no peer-reviewed academic (i.e., not sponsored by industry or interest groups) study demonstrating harmful impacts of fracking on water supplies. That’s zero, zip, nada. Former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson – hardly a fossil fuel advocate – told Congress that there have been “no proven cases where the fracking process itself has affected water.”
Sure, there are plenty of “studies” with lots of anecdotes purporting to prove that fracking is either the savior of mankind or, alternatively, its inevitable downfall. Most of these tend to be a tad self-serving. As the old proverb says, a lie will go ’round the world while the truth is pulling its boots on.
But what have those who are actually responsible for public safety said about fracking? Dimock, Penn., and Pavillion, Wyo., have been under the fracking microscope for years and are good indicators.