The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Halting Proven Energy Technologies?

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted July 29, 2009

In a recent Houston Chronicle op-ed, Richard Burleson, managing partner of Houston-based and energy-focused law firm Burleson Cooke L.L.P., cautions the administration and Congress against over-regulating hydraulic fracturing. As we've explained in this blog, hydraulic fracturing is a process where fluid is pumped under pressure down through the wellbore to make tiny fissures in the rock, allowing natural gas and oil to flow more easily up through the well.

According to Mr. Burleson, concerns about hydraulic fracturing on drinking water are misplaced:

"Hydraulic fracturing is safe, and there is no credible evidence to suggest otherwise...Fracing liquids are injected thousands of feet below the water table, and rock generally acts as a barrier to prevent any migration."

Mr. Burleson adds that the impact of over-regulating this proven practice would be particularly acute in Texas--the "epicenter of domestic exploration and production activity." If hydraulic fracturing were eliminated entirely, he says, Texas could lose millions in state tax and royalty revenues as well as up to 364,000 jobs. Furthermore, the state and the entire nation would suffer a steep decline in domestic energy production.

Read the full op-ed for more information.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.