It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Don't blame fracking for environmental problems associated with extracting gas from shale. That's the message of a new report from the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin, released on the opening day of the AAAS meeting in Vancouver, Canada.
Reviewing existing studies, Groat's team could find no evidence linking groundwater contamination to fracking operations many hundreds of metres below.
The recent discovery of more than 200 years of secure, domestic natural gas sources bodes well for our Nation’s energy future. These reserves, now accessible because of hydraulic fracturing shale, are predominantly found in Texas, New York, Pennsylvania – in the Barnett, Haynesville and Marcellus shale plays, respectively. The problem is that the development of these vast shale gas resources through “fracing” has been accompanied by claims of damage to groundwater and surface water. To date, however, no credible, independent research has been conducted to support or rebut these environmental concerns.
In late 2010, the Energy Institute discussed its proposal with a major trade association representing the natural gas industry. After extensive negotiations, the organization declined to support both modules of the research in an acceptable manner, and the Institute formally withdrew its proposal.
Today, the need for an independent, peer-reviewed analysis of the environmental impacts of fracing remains as strong as ever. The stakes are even higher when one considers that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to issue regulations on fracing early as next Spring, though no independent review of literature or analysis of environmental concerns regarding fracing has been conducted.
A consortium of companies involved with production of natural gas from hydraulic fracturing of shale could provide the funding required for this initiative.