W.F. Beal III: Armchair geologists

October 29, 2013 

The Oct. 25 letter “N.C. not ideal for fracking” shows how little the writer knows about geology.

N.C. geology is far from unique. The Sanford Triassic Basin is one of at least 20 similar basins stretching from Nova Scotia to South Carolina. They have been intensively studied since the early 1800s. The fact that shales with gas production potential do crop out near Jordan Lake in no way implies that fracturing fluids will migrate to the surface and pollute the lake, as the writer has repeatedly “guaranteed.” Geologists and hydrologists understand that such migration has not been recognized anywhere.

The federal administration’s own EPA has correctly criticized anti-shale activists’ outcry about fracturing fluids lost in the recent Colorado floods. The volume of fracturing fluids lost there is a tiny fraction of the billions of gallons of flood waters, and they are no threat. Elementary geology textbooks would indeed help anybody interested in unbiased study to weigh the pros and cons of shale development in North Carolina.

Entirely without value are self-appointed “experts” and pure propaganda of the “Gaslands” variety. The real science is available to any with an open mind.

W. F. Beal III

B.S., geology, Appalachian State, Raleigh

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