Last Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cleared the air, once and for all, about the anti-fracking crusade in Pennsylvania. Their findings show that the contamination found in drinking water wells in Dimock, Pennsylvania was not caused by the extraction of shale gas near wells.
The earlier accusations by environmentalist groups were based on pure speculation that sought to discourage the practice of hydraulic fracturing. Of course, further investigation into this groundwater contamination revealed that it was not due to the exploration of shale gas. The results found that the drinking water in those wells had potentially dangerous chemicals in it naturally.
In response to this finding, Legal Newsline reports that the EPA has installed personal treatment systems in each of the residents homes. As it turns out, the EPA accomplished what it set out to do: “…to provide the Dimock community with complete and reliable information about the presence of contaminants in their drinking water and to determine whether further action was warranted to protect public health.” Who would have thought that the EPA would actually do its job?
However, this is not the first time the EPA has changed its stance on fracking contamination. Just a few months ago, the EPA was probing Range Resources Corp. over alleged pollution caused by gas drilling in water wells in Texas. After the research was conducted, the EPA retracted its administrative order that tied Range Resources Corporation’s actions to local water contamination. Many in the energy industry are beginning to doubt the EPA’s findings in these types of cases due to the multiple missteps the agency has experienced in reporting contamination studies.
So what does the energy industry see as the future of Natural Gas exploration? Just a few weeks ago, The Wall Street Journal’s, Smart Money, did a revealing feature on “The Return of Fossil Fuels.” As the magazine states, “Enormous new oil and gas discoveries under American soil are having a game-changing impact on the entire economy.” Gas prices have dropped 86 percent from their previous highs a decade ago. As of right now, natural gas in the United States is a staggering quarter of the cost it is currently in Europe and Asia. As Smart Money points out, the United States is new to the market of natural gas and has endless potential in and around this area of the market.
The constant banter heard against hydraulic fracturing has taken major hits in recent months. State and local governments are beginning to realize just what impact this industry could have in the revitalization of the US economy. Likewise, those entrepreneurs and industry professionals are seeing their risk pay off. The development of the energy industry has taken detours with unfruitful green energy endeavors in recent years, but the resurgence of fossil fuels could not be more promising.