In this article Susan Culver-Graybeal quotes Chris Faulkner Breitling Oil and Gas CEO regarding Fracking and the potential EPA moratorium in 2012:
Thousands of workers unemployed overnight. Businesses shuttered. Oil towns becoming ghost towns. This was the picture painted by the Bismarck Tribune on November 27 as what might happen if the Environmental Protection Agency puts a moratorium on fracking.
It could happen, says North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources director Lynn Helms, the Tribune reported, as soon as January, when the EPA releases its guidance document to states, governing how they must comply with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and how permits must be issued when diesel fuels are used in fracking fluids. Helms’ department will then rewrite state rules. He believes that the process will stop the state’s hydraulic fracturing program for one to two years. Although diesel is only a small part of the fluids used for fracking, he explained, North Dakota’s cold requires the use of it. And it’s diesel fuel and how it relates to fracking as a Class II well that seems to be causing the EPA concern.
According to Chris Faulkner, CEO of Texas-based Breitling Oil & Gas, who participated in a recent debate published by U.S. News & World Report, critics of fracking have little to worry about when it comes to the potential of groundwater pollution through the use of fracking fluids. Because fracking involves deep drilling – far below the aquifer – and the well is encased in steel pipe before fracking fluids are ever released, there is little chance of pollution happening.
Lee Fuller, Vice President of Government Relations for the Independent Petroleum Association of America agrees, citing remarks by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson herself as proof. Jackson, in testimony to the House of Representatives that was covered by Fox News earlier this year, stated that she was not aware of any proven case where the fracking process has affected groundwater.
Not everyone agrees, though. In New York, on Wednesday, November 30, environmentalists called for a ban on hydraulic fracturing in that state, the Associated Press reported. New York placed a moratorium on drilling permits in 2008 and has spent the past three years reviewing its regulations. The state is now in the midst of a 90-day comment period on its review of impacts from fracking and its proposed regulations. State Sen. Tony Avella has authored a bill banning the practice, stating that the costs of regulating the industry outweigh the economic benefits of it.
6,000 people turned out for the four public hearings on New York’s proposed fracking regulations, the New York Times reported, with more than 10,6000 written public comments received as of Thursday, December 1. The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation extended its public comment period on the matter from Dec. 12 to Jan. 11.