Regarding the recent op-ed “Fracking debate rages on in the West,” I wanted to address the section where the author states that those passing through Colorado and neighboring states can witness negative impacts such as foul air, reduced water supplies, and agricultural ruin.
The author is right about Colorado in one respect, though not accurate in the dire description of the situation here. You can definitely see the indisputable facts about fracking all around you. Tens of thousands of jobs, billions in tax revenue for schools and infrastructure (and billions more in economic activity), natural gas for home heating that is both cheap and clean burning.
The truth is, this is a safe and proven process, one that over 90% of all oil and gas wells undergo at some point. On top of that, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) and the EPA have, despite numerous claims to the contrary, have never found a connection between fracking and groundwater contamination. We even had newly proposed oil and gas emissions rules that came out last month, which will ensure that we continue to enjoy the benefits that fracking affords without sacrificing our air quality. Oh, and by the way, CU Boulder recently released a study stating that oil and gas production generated nearly $30 billion in economic activity for our state in 2012, to go along with $1.6 billion in tax revenues.
I can’t speak to the experience of other states, but in Colorado, at least, we are enjoying immense environmental and financial gains due to fracking. That is what you’ll see if you pass through our state.