follow us Twitter Facebook
OKLAHOMA INDEPENDENT PETROLEUM ASSOCIATION ABOUT | CONTACT
OIPA News
<< Back to News

Thompson defends hydraulic fracturing

March 01, 2010
State Rep. Mike Thompson came to the defense of hydraulic fracturing in an opinion piece in The Oklahoman, saying federal investigations into the commonly-used oilfield technique have been driven by environmental extremists.

Thompson, R-Oklahoma City, is the chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Utility Regulation, and he is seeking the GOP nomination for the 5th District Congressional seat.

From The Oklahoman:

Members of the federal House Energy and Commerce Committee have announced they plan to investigate whether hydraulic fracturing, a common method of natural gas exploration, poses risks to the environment.

This is a move that has been brewing for years as environmental extremists seek to further regulate this drilling method, which will inevitably sustain our dependence on dangerous foreign energy sources and continue to threaten our national security.

Hydraulic fracturing is a safe and successful drilling method in which water, sand and chemicals are injected at high speeds into a well to fracture rock and free up natural gas. This is a method that has increasingly been used in many shale formations across the country and has led to the discovery of increased levels of domestic natural gas.

According to U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Energy Committee, "This investigation will help us better understand the potential risks this technology poses to drinking water supplies and the environment.”

There are a number of reasons why this investigation isn’t needed. First, the Congressional Energy Policy Act of 2005 explicitly exempted hydraulic fracturing from the provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Additionally, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission conducted a survey that found there were no known cases of groundwater contamination associated with hydraulic fracturing.

Approximately 35,000 wells are hydraulically fractured annually in the United States and close to 1 million domestic wells have been hydraulically fractured since the inception of the technique, with no known harm to groundwater.

The regulation of oil and gas exploration and production has traditionally been the province of the states. I believe strongly this is the proper oversight needed.

Domestic production of natural gas is a critical component to ensuring that the United States continues on the path to energy independence. Congress should be exploring opportunities to encourage, not hinder, domestic energy production, and increased natural gas exploration in particular.

Regulation of hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Drinking Water Act would impose significant administrative costs on Oklahoma and substantially increase the cost of drilling oil and gas wells with no resulting environmental benefits. More importantly, the regulation of hydraulic fracturing would increase energy costs to the consumer.

Despite the recent growth seen in hydraulic fracturing, there have been no instances of drinking water contamination or any environmental impact at all. Further study of the issue is a waste of taxpayer dollars and will further solidify our dependence on foreign energy sources.

With the proper policies and a market-driven approach, the United States can meet many of its energy needs domestically. Increased domestic energy production will translate into greater energy security and well-paying jobs for American workers.

Instead of trying to score political points, Congress needs to turn its attention to making our country energy independent. If an investigation does proceed, I urge the members of this committee to focus on the facts, not environmental distortions. Our country’s national and economic security is at stake.

 
<< Back to news


AD

Topic

AD