Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99
News Opinion Readers Respond

Fracking gets an unfair rap

Del. Heather Mizeur claims that hydraulic fracturing contaminates water supplies and causes earthquakes ("No studies? No fracking," Sept. 13). Both of these claims are false.

In more than 60 years of its use, there are zero confirmed cases of water contamination from hydraulic fracturing. Need more evidence? Lisa Jackson, head of President Barack Obama's Environmental Protection Agency, recently said: "In no case have we made a definitive determination that [hydraulic fracturing] has caused chemicals to enter groundwater." Dozens of state regulators from across the country have said the same thing.

Why? Because billions of tons of impermeable rock separate groundwater supplies from the shale deposits. What do you think has kept oil and gas trapped down there for millions of years?

Delegate Mizeur also claims the U.S. Geological Survey found that hydraulic fracturing causes earthquakes. But Bill Ellsworth, a USGS geophysicist and lead author of the report that Ms. Mizeur was referencing, actually said the complete opposite. "We don't see any connection between [hydraulic fracturing] and earthquakes of any concern to society," Mr. Ellsworth has said. His conclusion was also recently affirmed by the prestigious National Research Council.

The moratorium-until-further-study line is common nowadays because it sounds reasonable. In reality, it's just a way to obscure the fact that hydraulic fracturing has been examined, studied, assessed, and closely scrutinized for decades, from university scientists to state and federal regulators, including the EPA.

Steve Everley, Washington, D.C.

The writer is a spokesman for Energy In Depth, a research and public outreach organization supported by the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Md. should ban fracking
    Md. should ban fracking

    Thank you for bringing attention to New York's recent ban on fracking ("Fracking ban in NY prompts calls for MD to follow suit," Dec. 17). I applaud Gov. Andrew Cuomo for putting the health of New Yorkers above the pressure for dirty energy. Now it's time for Maryland to do the same.

  • Fracking's risks are 'considerable'
    Fracking's risks are 'considerable'

    I applaud your March 23 editorial endorsing a moratorium on fracking in Western Maryland ("Fracking deserves a pause," March 25). My considerable research reveals fracking in Maryland imposes severe and permanent environmental risks with questionable to negative long-term economic impacts to...

  • Fracking moratorium is the right step
    Fracking moratorium is the right step

    Your editorial ("Fracking deserves a pause," March 25) got it right on all counts. Fracking simply does not mesh well with our tourist industry in Western Maryland.

  • Fracking not worth the risks
    Fracking not worth the risks

    I applaud The Baltimore Sun for its position in favor of a moratorium on fracking in Maryland ("Fracking deserves a pause," March 25). We are learning more every day of the irreparable damage being done to the environment and health of people living where hydraulic fracturing is taking place....

  • Fracking deserves a pause
    Fracking deserves a pause

    The Maryland House of Delegates gave final approval Tuesday to legislation that would place a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to produce natural gas in this state for the next three years. The vote was 93-to-45, a two-thirds majority. The proposal offers the kind...

  • Stop fracking in Md. before your water starts tasting like licorice
    Stop fracking in Md. before your water starts tasting like licorice

    Maryland residents must support the moratorium on fracking and the "gold standard regulations" ("Health, environmental groups seek fracking moratorium," Feb. 5).

  • Why ruin Garrett County?
    Why ruin Garrett County?

    As a retired couple, one of many living in Garrett County, my wife and I find the possibility of fracking wells and all that comes with them completely distressing ("The risks of fracking outweigh the potential benefits," March 3). Having come from a metropolitan area industrialized to the...

  • Fracking poses problems for Western Md.
    Fracking poses problems for Western Md.

    Last week, a Garrett County resident testified in Annapolis that Maryland should proceed with fracking, the dangerous industrial practice recently banned in New York. He claimed that Western Maryland needs the jobs. I ask, what jobs?

Comments
Loading