ICYMI: Can the U.S. really go frack-free?

ICYMI: Can the U.S. really go frack-free?

San Diego Union Tribune | March 19, 2016 | by CEI Staff



“I DON’T THINK THERE IS ANY QUESTION THAT IT CAN BE DONE IN A WAY THAT IT CAN BE OPERATED SAFELY AND DO SO IN THE LONG TERM”


– DEPT OF ENERGY UNDERSECRETARY FRANKLIN ORR


Renewable energy may be growing but the same agency last year projected that 62 percent of U.S. energy consumption will come from a combination of oil and natural gas in 2040.

And while the Obama administration has sought stricter regulations for tracking on federal lands, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last year released a study saying it did not find evidence that tracking “led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources.”

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has promoted an “all of the above” energy program that includes natural gas as a bridge fuel to help the U.S. reduce its reliance on coal and boost clean energy sources.

“If the wells are drilled and treated appropriately, we know how to do that part of it,” said DOE undersecretary Franklin Orr, who was in San Diego earlier this week, talking to clean energy business leaders.

“If the formation is a deep one and the hydraulic fracturing can be kept in the zone where it’s supposed to be, I don’t think there’s any question that it can be done in a way that it can be operated safely and so in the long term,” Orr said.



“OUR DATA INDICATE THAT THE SOURCE OF THE INCREASE WAS METHANE PRODUCED BY BACTERIA, OF WHICH THE MOST LIKELY SOURCES ARE NATURAL, SUCH AS WETLANDS OR AGRICULTURE, FOR EXAMPLE FROM RICE PADDIES OR LIVESTOCK.”


– HINRICH SCHAEFER, ATMOSPHERIC SCIENTIST, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR WATER AND ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH


But last week, a study released by the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research attributed higher levels of methane in the atmosphere since 2007 to agricultural practices, not fossil fuel production.

“Our data indicate that the source of the increase was methane produced by bacteria, of which the most likely sources are natural, such as wetlands or agricultural, for example from rice paddies or livestock,” atmospheric scientist Hinrich Schaefer said in a NIWA news release.



“I WOULD CERTAINLY NOT SUPPORT A DOCTRINAIRE, ‘NO FRACKING, PERIOD (POLICY).”


– DEPT OF ENERGY UNDERSECRETARY FRANKLIN ORR


“I don’t see us taking that massive leap backwards and having the plug pulled, especially given that over the past several years the growth in the oil and gas industry (and) what is has done for our economy,” Decker of UBS said.

“I would certainly not support a doctrinaire, ‘no tracking, period’ (policy),” DOE undersecretary Orr said Monday.

(Read the full article: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/mar/19/fracking-ban-realistic

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