Opinion: The Benefits of Fracking

11 12, 2011 by The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Questions About the Safety of Fracking” (letters, Nov. 9):

Representative Maurice D. Hinchey, Democrat of New York, does not mention the economic benefits of natural gas development in regions long plagued by widespread unemployment. As a result of investments in safe shale gas technology by natural gas companies, people are working and communities are again thriving. Repeated tests have shown that hydraulic fracturing in thousands of wells protects water supplies, and state and federal tests have found no groundwater contamination.

Mr. Hinchey would have us believe that because the federal government doesn’t regulate it, there is lax regulation of hydraulic fracturing — or none. Hydraulic fracturing operations are indeed rigorously regulated by states, which are best equipped to regulate because hydrologic and geologic conditions vary greatly from state to state, making a nationwide system unworkable.

Shale producers have a commitment to the environment and the communities in which they operate. They’ve adopted numerous industrywide standards to ensure safe and clean operations, as well as programs such as FracFocus.org, a Web site about fracking that lists the components of hydraulic fracturing fluids on a well-by-well basis.

President and Chief Executive
American Petroleum Institute