According to a national poll just conducted by Bloomberg, 65% of Americans believe there should be tighter regulations on fracking.
The poll asked if there needs to be more or less regulation in fracking. 65% said more, 18% said less and 17% said they weren’t sure. Critics claim that fracking causes harmful emissions and are concerned about how the wastewater is handled from the gas wells. This particular concern is so great that when New York Governor David Paterson was still in office, he put a moratorium on drilling to protect the unfiltered watershed that provides over a billion gallons of water a day to New York City.
You may also remember last year when an AP report showed that potentially toxic “frack water” was making its way into Pennsylvania's rivers and streams.
According to that report, which analyzed state records, 3.6 million barrels of wastewater were treated and emptied into rivers from June, 2009 to June, 2010. And there were another 50 million tons never even accounted for.
Now some people in the industry aren’t too surprised with the results of the poll. . .
“We have been so focused as an industry on figuring out how to crack the code and get these huge volumes of gas trapped in shale formations. We haven’t focused on the things we have to do differently above ground,” Southwestern Energy Company’s executive vice president Mark Boling said.
Despite the risks, fracking has proved to be extraordinarily successful. The US is producing so much gas the government may soon approve a terminal for export.
And fracking, which accounts for 23% of US production, is projected to increase dramatically, climbing as high as 49% by 2035 according to the DOE.
The fracking industry supported more than 600,000 US jobs in 2010. It’s efficiency and production is such that gas prices fell 36% last year. And even after environmental concerns were raised, 62% of Pennsylvanians said they still support fracking because of its economic benefits, according to a poll conducted in September, 2011.
Although I doubt any rational person in Pennsylvania would argue against the integration of safety measures that would help alleviate the threat of increased environmental damage.
You don't have to be an environmentalist to appreciate the gift of clean water.