Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Facebook

Opinions and observations from environmental experts, activists, and luminaries
Fracking has only been profitable since 2005 and only because of Cheney?! What about the Barnett Shale in Texas? Do your research!
Steve, your point about the Barnett Shale is well received, but there is a very important distinction between drilling activity and drilling profitability. True, the first well in the Barnett Shale was drilled in 1981 and drilling took off in 2002, but that first well didn't see a profit for 17 years. Barnett Shale magnate George P. Mitchell will tell you this himself: http://startelegram.typepad.com/barnett_shale/files/MitchellQA.doc In many ways I think the Barnett Shale activity was the litmus test for regulation of the entire industry, and when the 2004 EPA Report and 2005 Energy Policy Act declared fracturing in essence totally safe, the industry grew exponentially.
1981 + 17 years = 1999. Thus, drilling activity for the Barnett Shale began in 1981, and drilling profitability in the Barnett Shale began in 1999. Not to mention that hydrofracing for natural gas has been around for over half a century. You are completely in the wrong here, and I hope you have the moral courage to take ownership for your mistake. And please do not use fallacy, half truths and lie to push the subversive political preference of the article's author. The nonprofit status of the website requires nonpartisan commentary.
Nice math
This is going to be long. 1981 plus 17 does not equal 2002 (just so you know, it adds to 1998), nor did anyone say it did, nor do I know why anyone would think that the first year Mitchell earned a profit and the year the Barnett business took off would be exactly the same. It took 17 years for Mitchell to make a profit off of his first well. Devon Energy began acquisition of Mitchell's business in 2001 and completed it in 2002, according to their own website: http://www.devonenergy.com/Newsroom/Pages/NewsRelease.aspx?id=212812 http://www.devonenergy.com/AboutDevon/Pages/our_history.aspx Hydraulic fracturing as a technology has been around since the beginning of the 20th century. I don't know why that invalidates what I wrote about the difference between activity and profitability, or for that matter the main point of my article, which is that the business has exploded in very recent years, and exempting fracking activity and fracking fluids from the SDWA in 2005 is crucial to understanding that. I make sure to say in my article that the story differs by state, but while we're talking about Barnett Shale, let's remember the Mitchell interview. It details that across the entire 5,000 square mile formation, 186 wells were drilled in 2000, while 3,679 drilling permits were issued in 2007. I'm going to address that "subversive political agenda" accusation for a moment. I've heard and read plenty of respectable, substantial arguments in favor of extracting the gas. Those arguments never really deny that the industry has been deregulated; instead they propose that the industry was rightfully deregulated because of job growth and the energy benefits it brings to the nation. Anyone who explores the Penn State Marcellus Shale Extension site I link to in my article can read all about the economic aspects and benefits of exploration. For my part, I am contributing an article to the community page of an organization that reports on environmental and environmental policy matters, so I detail the connection between the 2005 Energy Policy Act and the incredibly fast rise of the industry. If you think that the exemption has nothing to do with the massive growth in exploration since 2005, there's nothing I can do for you.
It seems that the previous comments address historical and economical aspects of the issue, but do not speak to the environmental impacts on water and health issues for human beings. The movie "Gas Lands " disputes much of the myths that the EPA has spoken to about safety. After all if Cheney was able to "sneak" in a clause to clear the way what do you expect of the EPA?
Hi Steve, Just wanted to point out most of those permits for Mckean county are shallow wells that have been fraced since 1950's. I know that PSU has provided the info to you, so its not your inacuracy,but theres. I suspect the same for most of north west Pa is true. Thanks