During President Obama’s State of the Union speech last week one of my liberal friends displayed her agitation on facebook when he talked about energy and natural gas. She wrote something like “Stop talking about fracking and doing the bidding of the energy companies.” I thought her objection was odd since she heats her home and water with natural gas. She wasn’t alone in her objections to Obama’s nod to natural gas, which Phil Kerpen at American Commitment noted at a meeting last week was one of the few things the President got right.
Breaking Energy pointed out that despite the anti-fracking zealots, many Democrats are proponents of hydrofracking and agree it can be done safely.
Some things are simply above politics. That’s why Obama’s first Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, warned lawmakers in 2012 “there’s a lot of hysteria that takes place now with respect to hydraulic fracking” and assured them “it can be done safely and has been done safely hundreds of thousands of times.”
Salazar’s successor Sally Jewell – who was a board member of the National Parks Conservation Association, the CEO of outdoor retailer REI and a petroleum engineer before joining the Obama Cabinet – says “fracking has been done safely for decades.”
Jewell even says the activist belief that “fracking is dangerous and must be curtailed, full stop … ignores the reality that it has been done for decades” and will be done “for decades to come.” Likewise, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy rejects the “inherently unsafe” argument: “There’s nothing inherently dangerous in fracking that sound engineering practices can’t accomplish.”
Oh, and then there is this:
[Fracking is] an essential process that’s used in more than 90 percent of U.S. oil and gas wells…
Going forward fracking will be used in at least 80% of natural gas production. That’s a lot of fracking, and the world hasn’t come to an end. It’s also benefiting quite a few Americans. According to the US Energy Administration, as of 2009 50% of American households use natural gas. So I have to wonder how many of the opponents of fracking are like my friend and use natural gas in their own homes. Are they ready to turn off their heat and hot water and really make a stand? I know, I won’t hold my breath.