The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

July 25, 2013

Let’s continue to learn about, use fracking process

ENID, Okla. — A recent Department of Energy study is a good lesson for all concerned with respect to drilling technology and its environmental impact.

The recent study, conducted at a western Pennsylvania drilling site, showed the chemical-laced fluids used in hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, did not contaminate drinking water aquifers in the area.

The study is ongoing, but this is the first independent look at fracking and whether the chemicals used in the process are a threat to people. The study showed the drilling fluids stayed well below — about a mile underneath — the drinking water supplies.

Hydraulic fracturing involves pumping water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into wells to free the oil and natural gas trapped in rock formations underground.

Fracking has been a controversial — and misunderstood — process, with many of those opposed claiming it causes earthquakes and pollution. Frankly, we believe some people jumped to conclusions without having evidence to support their beliefs.

This study isn’t the definitive, final say on fracking. But, it was an independent study done on the process. And, it provided some answers in the one part of the country where it was conducted.

Can the lessons learned be applied elsewhere? We believe they can.

We also believe reasoned, rational studies and arguments are more effective than emotional, off-the-cuff remarks.

Let’s not do away with fracking just because we don’t fully understand it. Instead, let’s continue to use the process, which makes oil and natural gas, more readily available. Let’s also continue to study the process.

Knowledge is never a bad thing.

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