Does fracking deserve the bad rap?

Hydraulic fracturing is one of the most discussed oil and gas issues in America right now. Whether it’s around the water cooler or at the dinner table, opinions are anything but scarce on the matter.   Proponents of hydraulic fracturing assert that it is overwhelmingly beneficial to the economy due to the boost in energy-related sales and job creation. There has been a spike in employment with companies who support drilling firsthand. The trend has carried over in to the service industries surrounding the shale plays that provide food, shelter and services for the extra workers brought in to do the job.

Additionally, there is an ever-present push to reduce America’s dependence on the Middle East and other foreign sources of energy and a general attempt to diversify the world’s energy sources – buzzwords like: “security” and “American-made” fly about daily.   Critics claim that fracking pollutes the groundwater and air quality and has even spiked the rise of cancer in heavy gas-drilling regions. German brewers have warned that hydraulic fracturing could inevitably hurt their beloved beer industry. (Personally, I don’t see the oilfield doing anything to EVER harm the beer industry, but you can see the story here.)   The one thing I have noticed is the deeper you dig into the criticism of hydraulic fracturing, the validity of the argument gets a bit hazy.   A few writers at Associated Press might feel similarly. In a story released by the AP, experts claim that fracking critics are using “bad science” and use the article to debunk some of the negatives that have been pinned to hydraulic fracturing.   The Energy Collective distributed “Facts on Fracking: Three Things You Need to Know” – essentially taking the distraught – and heavily tilted – arguments being passed around, and providing a counter argument.   Like all debates, the point of view both sides present are worth considering. In the end, it’s about what brings the most benefit to the largest number of people – oh, and getting the fracking facts straight!