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Hydraulic Fracturing is Safe and is reducing greenhouse emissions

6 September 2013 No Comment

Hydraulic Fracturing is safe, is critical to oil and gas development, and is helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Below are recent studies that are relevant:

Current and Historical American Energy Consumption

The Federal Energy Information Agency (EIA) reports that oil and natural gas contribute a significant 62% of our daily energy consumption.  Coal is 20%.  Wind and solar are increasing but due to low energy output only contribute 1.4% of American energy consumption.  Due to the benefits of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, natural gas, the cleanest burning fossil fuel is on an increase and coal consumption is decreasing.

Total Energy – Data – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

EIA study August 1, 2012, “U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions in early 2012 lowest since 1992.” Due to increasing natural gas and decreasing coal consumption.


Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) study published in the Journal of Petroleum Engineering, “The History of Fracturing The Fuss, Facts and Future”  Hydraulic Fracturing is a 63 year old technology that was been used over 2.5 million time worldwide.


Independent third party and regulatory studies

EPA’s McCarthy: ‘Responsible’ gas production key to climate strategy

August 14, 2013 – The Hill by Ben Geman

Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy said natural-gas production — with the right safeguards — is a major piece of Obama administration efforts to combat global warming.

USGS study on Fracking and Ground Water Study Released 1/11/2013:

“A study that examined the water quality of 127 shallow domestic wells in the Fayetteville Shale natural gas production area of Arkansas found no groundwater contamination associated with gas production, according to a report released today by the U.S. Geological Survey.”


EPA study on Ground water in Dimock PA (7/25/2012):

This was one of the major claims in Documentary Gaslands, that fracking had contaminated drinking water in Dimock PA.  EPA in the study reports:

”Based on the outcome of that sampling, EPA has determined that there are not levels of contaminants present that would require additional action by the Agency.”

“Overall during the sampling in Dimock, EPA found hazardous substances, specifically arsenic, barium or manganese, all of which are also naturally occurring substances, in well water at five homes at levels that could present a health concern


Cornel University, commentary on “The greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas in shale formations” by R.W. Howarth, R. Santoro, and Anthony Ingraffea, 21 October 2011.

Cornel University, Assessing the greenhouse impact of natural gas, L. M. Cathles, June 6, 2012. We show that substitution of natural gas reduces global warming by 40% of that which could be attained by the substitution of zero carbon energy sources.

MIT, Study: ‘Fugitive’ methane from shale gas production less than previously thought MIT researchers, using field practices, find emissions from shale gas production to be significantly lower than previous estimates. 11/29/2012.


National Academy of Sciences, June 15, 2012, “Hydraulic Fracturing Poses Low Risk for Causing Earthquakes, But Risks Higher for Wastewater Injection Wells” http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13355

US News and World Reports article, Yoko-Ono is wrong on Fracking


MIT: Report maps future of alternative fuel vehicles, Study conducted by MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), Cars that run on alternative fuels like biofuels and liquefied natural gas can cost less, cut emissions, and reduce dependence on foreign fuels, according to a report by the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI).


MIT: Report: Natural gas can play major role in greenhouse gas reduction The cleanest of fossil fuels, it is far more abundant than previously thought and can have significant impact at little cost, MIT study finds. Natural gas is important in many sectors of the economy: for generating electricity, as a heat source for industry and buildings, and in chemical feedstock. Given the abundance of natural gas available through extensive global resources and the recent emergence of substantial unconventional supplies in the United States, worldwide usage of the fuel is likely to continue to grow considerably and contribute to significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions for decades to come, according to a comprehensive, multidisciplinary study carried out over the last three years by MIT researchers. June 9, 2011


Experts challenge Cornell fracking foe’s linkage of natural gas leaks and climate change
In a July 20, 2013 op-ed in the New York Times, Anthony Ingraffa – a Cornell professor and avowed critic of hydraulic fracturing – called natural gas a “gangplank to a warm future.” But now, two prominent analysts of global warming offer fresh criticisms of the way Ingraffa has been portraying the contribution of natural gas leaks to climate change. Read more. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/01/two-climate-analysts-fault-gas-leaks-but-not-as-a-big-warming-threat/?_r=0

COGCC Information

COGCC is the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the oil and Gas regulatory body in Colorado.  Colorado has the most extensive regulations in the United States.

COGCC Testimony:

Director David Neslin, former Director, Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works & Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife, “Natural Gas Drilling: Public Health and Environmental Impacts”, Tuesday, April 12, 2011

COGCC Information on Hydraulic Fracturing:


COGCC Correction to the Movie GasLands by COGCC;

Ten Facts about Hydraulic Fracturing:

  1. Fracking has been used safely since 1947.
  2. More than 90% of all oil and natural gas wells use fracking at some point.
  3. The EPA has never found an incident of water contamination due to fracking.
  4. Fracking is key to unlocking domestic oil and natural gas deposits so vast that by 2035, less than 1% of our nation’s overall natural gas usage will come from foreign imports.
  5. Before a well is fracked, seven separate layers of cement and steel are installed to protect underground sources of drinking water.
  6. Fracking fluid is 99.5 percent water and sand. The rest is a mixture of chemicals similar to household products found under your kitchen sink or in your garage.
  7. Under Colorado law, all oil and natural gas operators must publish the fracking ingredients they use in each well. You can access this information through a public Internet database.
  8. Fracking in Colorado accounts for just 0.1 percent of the state’s total water use.
  9. In 2012 alone, the oil and natural gas industry pumped $29.6 billion into the Colorado economy, according to a recent University of Colorado study.
  10. That’s over 110,000 high paying jobs and $1.6 billion in tax revenue for things that are important – like Colorado’s schools, parks and roads.


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