Letter: Fracking works and claims of its harm are bogus
Regarding Jana Richman’s column about fracking, I think I can sympathize with some of the writer’s pain, but really feel most of it is fear of the unknown, at least in her case. It seems to be concerns from a NIMBY (not in my backyard) Luddite (one who fears technology) hopelessly stranded in Utah.
Fracking has been going on for at least 60 years. It works, and the supposed harm is frankly bogus and unproven. (www.fracknation.com has countered all of the falsehoods in Gasland), a lie only exceeded by the Affordable Care Act. As a retired oil and gas exploration company owner, I can attest to the problems that occur with split minerals — surface and mineral owners are separate and very unequal. What really needs to happen is for surface owners in states with preponderant mineral ownership by the state and federal government, is to press for legislation to grant the excess royalties over the historic 1/8 to the surface owner, or even to split royalties outright between the mineral owner and the surface owner. This would immediately cause another tune to be whistled.
It [fracking] may wind up not being too big a deal anyway, as the economics of gas drilling have migrated out of western Colorado and Utah to the Colorado Front Range, the Bakkan shale (Montana & North Dakota), and the Marcellus shale in the northeast. Witness Encana leaving next year, and then probably more to follow. I pity the counties and cities that were relying on a constant stream of oil and gas dollars to support local real estate, schools, and tax revenues.
So, relax. The primary source of pollution in your backyard will be you and the other visitors (reportedly 750,000), and they probably won’t be arriving on bikes.
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