Energy experts say drilling can be cleaner

work to lessen waste can aid environment, firms' bottom lines

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  • Ann Amberly Greenbelt, MD
    Dec. 11, 2012 8:10 p.m.

    Air is not our only worry with fracking--perhaps not even our prime worry. The major worry is the contamination and the sheer waste of fresh water by this practice. The National Intelligence Council has just pointed out that fresh water reserves are declining and that fresh water will gradually become more precious than even oil and natural gas. Have you looked into how many gallons of water is required to frack? And then that water is permanently contaminated, including with radioactive material such as radon. You can't drink oil or natural gas. Who has the courage to preserve the fresh water of our country for its citizens?

  • Corn Dog New York, NY
    Dec. 11, 2012 10:22 a.m.

    @Lagomorph - "How does a 4% waste of sellable product compare to other industries?"

    Pretty good when compared to agriculture. According to NRDC, 20% of all fruits and vegetables produced on a farm never enter the food distribution system. Overall, 40% of all food produced in the US is wasted, from "farm to fork".

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 11, 2012 9:09 a.m.

    Oil companies have only one objection to safe drilling.

    It costs a little money.

    Money that won't show up in the profits.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 11, 2012 9:07 a.m.

    How does a 4% waste of sellable product compare to other industries? This woud be like GM taking every 25th car that rolls off the assembly line directly to the landfill. It seems like a poor business model. Shouldn't stockholders be concerned about this?

    My hunch is that fracking technology is basically theoretically sound (i.e. the critical events occur in strata that are isolated from groundwater) but that sloppy execution in practice (e.g. improperly cased wells) is responsible for the contamination and flaming taps that have been reported, as well as a loss of useful product that just becomes an air pollutant instead of a revenue generator.