The Fracking Facts

Dave Killion — March 18, 2012

Having yesterday expressed my admiration for the ingenuity and creativity of humanity, I thought everyone might enjoy an example. Here is a very nice, clear explanation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and horizontal drilling –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LS2YHVLkxxA

I was recently horrified to find that many members of the book club had a dim view of fracking, having heard very little of it outside of the (largely misleading) material the mainstream media offers, and having seen the notorious scene from ‘Gasland‘ in which a Colorado resident ignites his flowing tap water. Kevin D. Williamson, of the National Review Online, has also seen it, and here’s what he has to say

“The weird true thing is that water has been catching fire for a long time — “long time” here meaning way back into the mists of obscure prehistory and the realm of legend. The temple of the Oracle of Delphi was built on the site of a burning spring said to have been discovered by a bewildered goatherd around 1000 b.c., and sundry antique heathens across the Near East had rituals related to burning bodies of water. The geographically minded among you will appreciate that there are several places in the United States named “Burning Springs,” including prominent ones in such energy-intensive locales as Kentucky and West Virginia. There’s a Burning Springs in New York, too, and 17th-century missionaries wrote in awe about Indians’ setting fire to the waters of Lake Erie and nearby streams. Water wells were catching fire in Pennsylvania as early as the 18th century, well before anybody was fracking for gas.”

If you read Williamson’s whole article (and you should) you will find out that people in that particular Colorado community have been able to light their water on fire since the 1930s, and that Colorado’s gas regulators have publicly debunked the assertion that fracking was responsible for the situation. Fracking has its costs, no question, but these are minute in comparison to the benefits it makes available to us.

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