Chris Faulkner, CEO of Dallas-based Breitling Energy, has taken to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to defend his industry and the practice of hydraulic fracturing, in light of the proposed ban on fracking in the city of Denton.
Faulkner wrote an op-ed piece in the Journal saying that many people rightfully should be concerned about the technique, but that the industry shouldn’t suffer because of the practices of “a few irresponsible energy firms.”
He said that a ban on fracking in Denton would have “disastrous effects” on its economy. The city would lose more than $251 million in economic activity and prevent the creation of 2,000 jobs over the next decade.
Faulkner said he understands that,
“Energy extraction is loud. Fracking rigs are ugly. Truck traffic can seem endless when an operation gets under way. Studies haven’t supported claims of water contamination, but the perception exists.”
He said that a new city ordinance in Denton requiring a 1,200-foot setback was to alleviate those issues, but that the problem arose because the ordinance didn’t apply to wells already existing near homes. He said that loophole was exploited by several companies.
Faulkner also cited examples of such abuses in Los Angeles where a modernist home suddenly had its view obstructed by drilling rigs, and a woman in Cleveland who had to sell her home at a loss after a well was drilled next to her backyard. He said fracking wells does have an impact on the value of homes.
He cites the economic benefits of fracking to individual communities and the nation, and says that people shouldn’t be so quick to seek bans.
Faulkner said he believes a more reasonable approach is for residents to collaborate with the oil and gas industry.
He said one example is in Erie, Colorado, where city officials launched a voluntary agreement with two energy companies mandating that they use vapor-recovery units to capture pollutants that can be vented into the atmosphere during the fracking of the wells.
Written by: Lance Murray