Why is there organized opposition to fracking?
That is a difficult question to answer when one considers the great benefits derived from fracking.
We only need to look back a few years, less than a decade, to see what fracking has accomplished.
A few years ago natural gas was priced at $13 per million BTUs.
The United States was running out of natural gas, and terminals were being built to import natural gas from the Mideast, putting more of our eggs in that basket, and increasing our dependence on the Mideast.
Powerful groups were opposed to building import terminals, on the basis they would be a danger to any community near them.
It was only a few years ago that oil production in the United States was in decline, necessitating the import of ever larger quantities of oil.
People decried importing oil from countries many considered to be our enemies.
We were paying these countries billions of dollars for their oil and worsening our balance of payments.
Fracking has upended all of this.
Today, natural gas is priced at around $3 or $4 per million BTUs.
The United States, as well as Canada, has a supply of natural gas that can last at least 100 years.
Natural gas is becoming an important transportation fuel, replacing oil imported from the Mideast.
Fracking has reversed the decline in oil production, so that we and Canada together, are likely to become energy independent.
Fracking has created millions of jobs, perhaps over 2 million new jobs in an economy bereft of jobs.
The surplus of natural gas is creating a manufacturing revival. Chemical plants that were moving overseas, along with their jobs, are moving back to the United States.
Fracking has resulted in millions of dollars in new tax revenues.
Natural gas produced by fracking is displacing coal, that some think is a dirty source of electricity.
And yet a militant few oppose fracking.
It’s understandable that a homeowner would be upset when he suddenly finds a drill rig nearby, even if it’s only there for a few months.
But why is there organized opposition to fracking, exploiting the homeowner who is suddenly faced with a drill rig nearby, and the uninformed who are afraid fracking could harm the environment?
Here, we have a resource, i.e., natural gas, that will benefit nearly everyone in the United States, coupled with increasing supplies of oil that reduce, if not eliminate, our need to import oil from unfriendly countries … yet fracking is seen as evil by the militant few.
The militant few claim that fracking will contaminate water supplies, poison the land and trigger earthquakes. The Sierra Club has declared war on natural gas.
All their claims have been disproven, yet the militant few continue to produce movies depicting calamities, issue press releases hyping the occasional accident and clamor for regulations that will put an end to fracking.
Typical is the claim that fracking caused natural gas to contaminate wells, but this picture, printed by the National Geographic in 1980, disproves the claim.
Even the EPA has backed away from the claim that fracking contaminates water supplies. The EPA, for example, abandoned its claim that fracking in Pavilion, Wyoming contaminated water wells.
There is no rational reason to prohibit fracking, yet New York State made fracking illegal and Colorado may vote to prohibit fracking. Frightened people are easily mobilized to vote against activities that frighten them.
In effect, these militants want the United States to once again be dependent on foreign countries, many of whom hate the United States, for oil and natural gas.
In effect these militants want to kill the jobs already created by fracking.
And, these militants want the United States to be deprived of the new manufacturing jobs that would result from large supplies of inexpensive natural gas.
Why do the militant few want to harm the United States, and their fellow Americans?
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