‘Fracking’ claims not supported by facts

Submitted by Readers
September 18, 2010

In a recent column (“Gas drilling’s threat to our water,” Sept. 12), Edward Smith makes claims about Marcellus Shale natural gas production that aren’t supported by facts.

Hydraulic fracturing, a 60-year-old technology that’s been used more than 1.1 million times since its inception in the 1940s, has never contaminated groundwater. A top Department of Environmental Protection official confirmed that “no one’s ever documented drinking water wells that have actually been shown to be impacted by fracking.” And a top Environmental Protection Agency official recently testified that “he hadn’t seen any documented cases that hydro-fracking was contaminating water supplies.”

Smith writes that “government needs to know the chemicals used in fracking.” But DEP already lists these additives on its website. Truth is, more than 99.5 percent of these fluids are made up of water and playground sand.

Readers should also know that advancements in technology have allowed Marcellus producers to recycle more than 60 percent of the water used in the process; many companies are recycling 100 percent.

It’s difficult to reconcile Smith’s call for a moratorium, and the need to deliver clean-burning Marcellus gas to Pennsylvanians – which is already helping to lower energy costs for Pennsylvanians and creating tens of thousands of jobs during one of the most difficult economic periods in our lifetime.

We do agree with Smith’s statement, “It must be done with every care and protection for our water and citizens.”

That’s not only our goal, it’s our expectation.

Kathryn Klaber

President and Executive Director, Marcellus Shale Coalition

Canonsburg, Washington County

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