Broad coalition calls the bill ‘emotionally driven’; ‘costly solution for a problem that does not exist’
Yesterday, CLUB 20 – “a coalition of individuals, businesses, tribes and local governments in Colorado’s 22 western counties” – sent this letter to Colorado’s congressional delegation urging opposition to Reps. DeGette and Polis’ anti-fracking, anti-energy production bill moving through Congress.
“Organized for the purpose of speaking with a single unified voice on issues of mutual concern,” and coined the “Voice of the Western Slope,” the group wrote this to their federal legislators:
- By ignoring 35 years of successful state regulatory precedence in protecting groundwater supplies, the FRAC Act demonstrates neither “responsibility” for good public policy nor “awareness” of the factsrelated to this issue.
- CLUB 20 believes that Colorado’s groundwater supplies are of critical importance and we applaud the decades-long work of the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) for providing an appropriate state regulatory framework to assure the protection of our groundwater supplies from unintended contamination by oil & gas development.
- Hydraulic fracturing increases the efficiency and productivity of natural gas wells by 400-700%, especially in shales and tight sands which constitute the large majority of natural gas fields on the Western Slope of Colorado. Many of these wells would not be economically viable without the application of this technology.
- The FRAC Act is an emotionally driven attempt to preempt existing state authority and add an unnecessary and costly regulatory burden on one of our state’s most economically important industries. It represents a costly solution for a problem that does not exist, and will only result in driving up the cost (and thus discouraging development) of one of the cleanest sources of energy (natural gas) that we have available to us.
And while groups of concerned citizens who understand the facts, like CLUB 20, work to aggressively support environmentally-safe production of clean-burning natural gas, reports and figures continue to demonstrate the economic growth potential that shale gas holds.
In fact, in today’s Wilkes Barre Times-Leader, the paper reports that:
- ”As the natural-gas drilling industry ramps up in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale, it could employ perhaps 13,000 workers by 2012, the vast majority of them general laborers with basic skill sets, according to a needs assessment released last week by the Marcellus Shale Education & Training Center.
- “Using a multiplier created by the Pennsylvania Economy League, the report suggests that nearly 20,000 non-industry jobs would be created by industry activities in the Northern Tier and Central regions. … The report’s results jibe with the industry’s own assessment in 2006, according to Stephen Rhoads, the president of the Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Association.”
However, the DeGette bill poses an enormous threat to tens of thousands of new, good-paying American jobs, while further undercutting progress toward making our nation more energy secure.