America’s Fracking Debate

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Source: NCPA h/t Know More

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  1. rd commented on Aug 5

    I am an engineer in fields related to fracking and its environmental impacts. We have the technologies in place to do it safely and effectively. The problem is that it requires significant regulation and enforcement to make sure that the frackers do it properly. Many of them have shown that they will cut corners (in some cases illegally) in a variety of ways if given the opportunity.

    If the companies have no skin in the game, other than to extract maximum profits during a short production period, then corners will be cut. One solution is to put in place significant up-front trust funds and bonds that give the state the financial wherewithal to step in and fix things if done improperly. This has been in place for a couple of decades now for municipal and hazardous waste landfills and it is just a cost of doing business. The outcome now is that you don’t see landfills permitted in the past 20 years in the news at all because it is in everybody’s best interest to do them properly.

    • Low Budget Dave commented on Aug 6

      The dangerous part about this is that the current political environment is profoundly against regulation. There are something like 250 Republicans running for President, but only one opinion: Every single one of them thinks there are too many environmental regulations, and would eliminate all regulations on fracking if they could. It will be hard for them to even have a debate: They agree on everything.

      Deep down inside, these are smart people who really want what is best for the country. But the people writing the biggest checks want maximum profits in a short production period. And you don’t write checks that big unless you want something in return.

    • rd commented on Aug 6

      That is why there are so many bans in towns and states that aren’t reliant on energy production for tax revenue. It eliminates the battle over regulation details since the activity simply doesn’t exist. That is why Texas passed a law banning land use bans by local municipalities on fracking – they didn’t want local decision-making since local governments are often more difficult to buy than state politicians, since the local populace is usually very vested in the local activities and can easily organize to defeat somebody in an election.

  2. NoKidding commented on Aug 5

    What debate?

    81% of Americans live in cities, most of the rest in suburbs.

    Nobody (in terms of percent population and priority of concern versus facebook status) gives a rip.

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