Anti-Energy Protesters Just Say No to Shale Energy
Subscribe today for Free Enterprise Updates
- Latest business trends and best practices
- News about legislation and regulation impacting business
- Business how-to articles from industry experts
- Commentary and interviews with newsmakers in business and politics
This past weekend, anti-energy activists marched in Washington, DC, to oppose hydraulic fracturing, the technology that has unleashed an oil and natural gas boom in the U.S. Judging from the speakers listed on the event’s website and the Washington Free Beacon’s report, it was more about scaring the public rather than offering a fair look at how shale energy is powering job creation, economic growth, and improved energy security.
Much of the protest was about claims that hydraulic fracturing contaminates groundwater. However, recent findings diminish the impact of their poster child, Dimock, Pennsylvania.
For those of you not familiar with the story, shale energy opponents like Gasland director Josh Fox claim hydraulic fracturing contaminated drinking water there. In January, EPA thought the water in some wells was so dangerous that they began delivering drinking water to four homes. Six months later, they backed off their initial overreaction and stopped the deliveries. Then last week, EPA announced “that there are not levels of contaminants present that would require additional action by the Agency.”
Anti-shale activists can’t use Dimock as a boogeyman anymore.
Along with pushing the phantom threat to drinking water, there was a simple anti-energy message at the protest. Environmentalist leader, Bill McKibben, told a Free Beacon reporter at the protest, “I would not proceed with fracking, nor with tarsands development, nor with any of the other ‘extreme’ energy solutions, because all of them produce more hydrocarbons that we simply can’t pour into the atmosphere.” No hydraulic fracturing, no Keystone XL pipeline to bring Canadian shale oil to the U.S. Nothing.
There's another side of the shale energy story--a positive one. The U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy’s “Shale Works for US” campaign is telling the story of jobs being created, the economy growing, and America’s energy security improving. This is a needed contrast to the complaints of anti-shale activists.