The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Safe Energy for America’s Future

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 6, 2015

Fracking, With Care, Brings Big Benefits: Our View

USA Today (editorial)Fracking — the practice of cracking open underground oil and gas formations with water, sand and chemicals — has rescued U.S. energy production from a dangerous decline. Any debate about banning it should take a hard look at what that would cost the nation and at facts that aren't always part of the discussion.

genericThose facts are spelled out in a recent report from the Environmental Protection Agency on fracking and groundwater. One of the harshest charges against fracking, often leveled with apocalyptic intensity by its foes, is that it indiscriminately contaminates vital drinking water supplies.

The EPA's timely report essentially said that's overblown.

The study identified many ways fracking could cause damage, but found little evidence that it had. Yes, there were instances of contaminated drinking water wells, but there was no evidence of "widespread, systemic" harm, and the number of problems that did occur "was small compared to the number of (fracked) wells."

Presuming no follow-up investigations change these findings, the report adds to the solid case that fracking should continue, with careful oversight, and that bans in Maryland, New York and other states are wrongheaded.

The EPA findings come as welcome news because it's hard to overstate the impact fracking has had on U.S. oil and gas production, which looked to be in irreversible decline in the 1980s. The decline raised fears that imports would soar, making the United States even more dependent than it already was on other nations.

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Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.