Glass: In defense of fracking
If the aim of Howard Brown’s column “Fracking and natural gas a dangerous addiction” (Sept. 13) was to scare Summit County residents, he likely succeeded. However, if he was trying to educate citizens, he failed. His column was woefully short on facts to back up many of his claims.
First, it’s important to note that fracking has been used safely and responsibly in Colorado for decades. Fracking fluids typically consist of 90 percent water, 9.5 percent sand and 0.5 percent chemicals. And Colorado was one of the first states in the country to require the disclosure of the ingredients in fracking fluid as part of what are arguably the toughest oil and gas regulations in the country.
While it’s natural to worry, as Mr. Brown does, about the safety of drinking water and the amount of water used in the fracking process, it’s important to note that Colorado has the most stringent baseline water sampling regulations in the country. And while the industry always works to reduce the amount of water used in the extraction process, the fact is hydraulic fracturing accounts for only 0.08 percent of the water used in Colorado each year.
Mr. Brown was right about one thing: We all need to learn as much as we can about fracking and oil and natural gas development. I’m confident that when citizens do take the time to engage, they’ll learn the industry has been one of the brightest spots in our state and national economy in recent years, producing thousands of high-paying jobs and generating nearly $30 billion annually for Colorado’s economy. They’ll also learn that the industry is working hard to safely and responsibly develop our natural resources in order to help power our cars, homes, businesses and factories, and to help the country became energy independent.
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