Steve Everley: Getting fracking facts

October 29, 2013 

The Oct. 25 letter “N.C. not ideal for fracking” using the Colorado floods to malign hydraulic fracturing was problematic, to say the least.

Colorado state health officials investigated whether the floods had caused an oil and gas-related disaster. They concluded: “It is reassuring the sampling shows no evidence of oil and gas pollutants.” A local newspaper quoted public officials as saying the impact from oil and gas operations was “almost immaterial.” Those same officials praised the industry for being extremely well-prepared for an “act-of-God” event.

Meanwhile, the U.S. EPA conducted its own flyovers to assess risks. The agency’s spokesman said, “the total amount of reported (oil) spills is small compared to the solid waste” that came from sewer lines. EPA also found no broken pipelines. Before scientists even had a chance to investigate the flood, anti-fracking activists ran to the media and declared disaster. They were proven wrong, but that’s to be expected when the basis for their activism is simply hurling allegations without regard for the truth.

I don’t begrudge the writer for having concerns about development. But we would all be better served if we relied on facts, not baseless innuendo, no matter how headline-grabbing it may be.

Steve Everley

Team Lead, Energy In Depth, Washington, D.C.

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