A common refrain from activists nationwide trying to ban hydraulic fracturing is that the process is “new,” poorly understood, and in need of “further study” before it should proceed. The reality is that the production of oil and natural gas from deep shale formations and other “tight” reservoirs has been strongly regulated for many years, and the ongoing effort to closely monitor these activities has yielded many studies and reports.
To demonstrate just how extensively the subject of “fracking” has been studied, EID has generated a helpful list of reports, analyses, and other studies that have examined everything from seismicity and land use to air emissions and water impacts. Clearly, hydraulic fracturing is not wanting for scholarly attention – and this list isn’t even exhaustive!
If the negative environmental impacts alleged by extreme environmental activists truly existed, there would be plenty of evidence for scientists to discover. As it is, those who have examined the scientific evidence, and the evidence of experience, have concluded that hydraulic fracturing is inherently safe with manageable risks.
The energy industry is built on sound science, and additional research into the risks and benefits of shale development is something the industry welcomes. After all, this is how continuous improvements— in safety, in efficiency, and in economical production — have been and will continue to be made.
Claiming hydraulic fracturing is “unstudied” or “under-studied” is nothing more than a campaign tactic to prevent, and eventually stop, the oil and gas industry from operating. The claim is demonstrably and objectively untrue – but then again, very little of what anti-fracking activists claim is accurate anyway.