Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
NewsOpinionReaders Respond

Fracking dangers are overstated

Natural GasEnergy ResourcesBarack Obama

While we agree with Katie Huffling that safe, responsible, tightly-regulated natural gas development must be done in a way that protects "the health of our communities and the environment," her recent op-ed ("The hidden health risks of fracking," July 20) lodges a series of claims that are simply unsupported by the facts.

Her claim that rural communities are "being destroyed by drilling" is as inflammatory as it is false. We live and raise our families in these communities and care deeply about protecting our environment. We also understand the positive economic benefits tied to safe American natural gas development. Nearly 240,000 Pennsylvania jobs are tied to the Marcellus Shale industry, and more natural gas is being used to meet our growing energy needs, bringing about cleaner air and more consumer savings.

Your readers should know, despite Ms. Huffling's claims, that Pennsylvania's new bipartisan natural gas law represents one of the most forward-leaning regulatory reforms in the nation, aimed at protecting our air and water, while ensuring natural gas is safely produced.

Indeed, the new law requires full disclosure of hydraulic fracturing fluids, which are made up of more than 99.5 percent water and sand, with a small portion of commonly used additives representing typically less than 0.5 percent. Our organization's members also post all fracturing fluids — on a well-by-well basis — on FracFrocus.org, an online database administered by environmental regulators. And President Barack Obama's top energy adviser, Heather Zichal, recently said, "As an administration, we believe that FracFocus is an important tool that provides transparency to the American people." Further, the new law requires 2,500 foot pre-drill baseline water tests, an important public health initiative that our industry absolutely supports.

However unfortunate it is that some continue to resort to scare tactics and fear-mongering, our industry will remain focused on a fact-based dialogue about safe, responsible, job-creating American natural gas development.

Kathryn Klaber, Pittsburgh, Pa.

The writer is president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
Natural GasEnergy ResourcesBarack Obama
  • O'Malley should ban fracking
    O'Malley should ban fracking

    Based on Robert Lawrence's commentary, "Ban fracking, O'Malley" (Oct. 10), we have to be ever grateful that Gov. Martin O'Malley and the legislature decided to "look before they leap" by requiring a health study before authorizing hydraulic fracturing to drill for natural gas in Maryland. Now...

  • No 'best practices' could guarantee Maryland's safety if fracking is allowed [Letter]
    No 'best practices' could guarantee Maryland's safety if fracking is allowed [Letter]

    Your editorial of Oct. 4 regarding the release by Maryland environmental regulators of a "risk analysis" for potential shale gas development did not note that the risk analysis was conducted before release in September of Maryland's health study. It showed significant risks to public...

Comments
Loading