Just yesterday I was singing the praises of directional drilling and fracturing and how this new technology has led us to the highest oil production in this country in years. Yesterday Reuters News reported, "the U.S. government is reviewing waste water practices of natural gas drillers after reports that radioactive water was ending up in public waterways, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said on Thursday.
Salazar, asked at a House of Representatives committee hearing about reports that radioactive wastewater produced from the drilling practice known as hydraulic fracturing may be ending up in waterways, confirmed that his department is looking into the matter. Interior is working with the Environmental Protection Agency to examine water quality issues related to waste and hydraulic fracturing, Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes explained at the hearing of the House Natural Resources committee. "We are looking to make sure operators on public lands are not using hydraulic fracturing in way that is harmful to environment," Hayes said.
Fracking injects a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into rock formations at high pressure to force out oil and natural gas. The spread of the technique to new areas has prompted a backlash from homeowners near shale gas developments who complain the practice has contaminated drinking water. Last year, Interior said it was considering developing new rules that would require companies to reveal the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing on federal lands.
Expressing support for natural gas development, Salazar said the department was still involved in discussions with the drilling industry and other stakeholders regarding the disclosure issue. "We're going to have a huge backlash...from the American public if we continue to inject chemicals and fluids into ground without people knowing what it is that's being injected," Salazar told reporters after the meeting. I think he will get a bigger backlash when gas prices hit $5.00 a gallon. It is Friday!
Phil Flynn is senior energy analyst for PFGBest Research and a Fox Business Network contributor. He can be reached at (800) 935-6487 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.