Results of a new study show that there is no contamination of groundwater as a result of hydraulic fracturing in Texas, it does not create an earthquake hazard, and has been a boom for the state’s economy.
After a conclusive and expansive research into the drinking water the end results are in line with multiple other studies of hydraulic fracturing, which most know as fracking.
For those unaware, hydraulic fracturing is the process of drilling deep within rock and injecting a high-pressure mixture of water, sand, and chemicals to obtain natural shale gas and oil, which is produced from the fractured rock itself. Some environmentalists argue that it can harm water supplies, but the studies actually show that simply isn't true.
The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas, based in Austin, asserted that “direct migration of contaminants from targeted injection zones is highly unlikely to lead to contamination of potential drinking water aquifers.”
The study itself was conducted over a three-year period. During the course of the study the academy assembled a panel called the Task Force on the Environmental and Community Impact of Shale.
“In Texas and pretty much everywhere, hydraulic fracturing has not been proven to have an adverse impact on drinking water,” Christine Ehlig-Economides, a professor of petroleum engineering at the University of Houston who is chairwoman of the task force stated recently.
The study examined the impact of fracking on drinking water.
Citing an Environmental Protection Agency study from last year, the report said, “The average annual water use for hydraulic fracturing activities in 2011 and 2012 in Texas was about 20 billion gallons of water. Because this volume represents on 0.2 percent of total water use in the state, and 0.7 percent of total state consumptive use, it might be considered small.”
Another keynote of research was on the impact of fracking in five other areas. Geology and earthquake activity; land resources; air quality; the economy; and society. In the end the results for each field were positive.
There was a sixth category unrelated to the environment, transportation; where the report found that fracking produced a surge of trucks, damaging pavement at an estimated cost to state taxpayers of $1.5 billion to $2 billion per year.
That being said the study concluded the oil and gas industry, including fracking, adds $473 billion to the Texas economy and created as many as 3.8 million jobs all of which far outweigh the costs to operate by drastic hundreds of billions which in turn only benefit the people of Texas.
“Texas has had a long history of oil and gas technology for the world,” Economides said. “Has it had environmental impacts? Yes, it has since it started in the 1850s. But over that time, the industry has learned and corrected those mistakes.”
During the heavily regulated and anti-industry Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency completed a five-year study that also was unable to find any evidence of widespread contamination as a result of fracking.
The Environmental Protection Agency said fracking can affect drinking water “under some circumstances” however refused to mention any known instances and determined there were too many anomalies on the existing data of contamination.
The Texas Academy study referenced a 2011 Groundwater Protection Council study, which in turn found that 10 of the 211 contamination incidents examined occurred because of drilling and none were related to fracking. In conclusion they asserted that direct fracking into rock affecting the state’s drinking water supply “has not been observed in Texas.”
As recently as March of this year, a U.S. Geological Survey of around 116 operable wells across Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas found no evidence fracking had any effect on chemicals and methane in drinking water wells. It also concluded that the detected levels of methane were likely naturally occurring as they would if fracking didn't exist at all.
Another renowned University of Texas study found that the methane levels inside well water in two Texas counties, Parker and Hood, weren’t the result of North Texas’s Barnett Shale, after a sample of 479 wells in those counties where all levels of methane matched elsewhere in the country that had no fracking industry at all.
A Duke University study which is ongoing until July of 2017 noted a “lack of changes in water quality observed in drinking-water wells following the installation of nearby shale-gas wells.”
In conclusion, heavy regulation and propaganda from the Obama Administration only hurt businesses and the industries they spawn whilst operating in the field of fracking. Such policies were harmful to the American economy due to the hundreds of billions made annually from the industry in Texas alone. Not to mention the thousands of other companies who then in turn provide equipment and materials to the industry.
Fracking is safe, and does not harm drinking water. There is little to no evidence to support that propaganda that it in fact ever did to begin with. Make America Frack Again.