I have been mostly ambivalent about fracking and the extraction of natural gas from the Marcellus shale deposit. But the news that U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have fallen to 1992 levels almost entirely because of energy producers shifting away from coal and instead using natural gas has won me over.
I’ve researched this issue, and I’ve taught this. I understand quite well the arguments put forward by environmentalists. I understand their concern about contamination of the water by the chemicals used in the fracking process. But groundwater contamination from fracking is rare. In fact, there is one documented place where ground water contamination from fracking may have ocurred: Pavilion, Wy. Pavilion is a remote town of about 160 people. High levels of the chemicals linked to fracking have been found in groundwater supplies, and the Environmental Protection Agency is testing to confirm the source. But the aquifer in Pavilion was only a few hundred feet above the shale gas deposit.
The Marcellus shale is so deep below natural aquifer — several thousand feet — that there is little to no risk of water contamination. Surface spills remain a risk, but a small one.
[Continue reading Todd Eberly’s post at The FreeStater Blog.]
Todd Eberly blogs at The FreeStaterBlog. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.