VIDEO: North Dakota’s Successful Energy Story
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Energy is making North Dakota an economic success story. With the news last week that the state’s unemployment rate is an amazing 2.7%, local blogger, Rob Port, wrote, “Unlike every other state in the union, North Dakota doesn’t need to ‘create jobs.’ North Dakota needs to convince people to move here to take the jobs we have.”
The Heritage Foundation and the Institute for Energy Research visited North Dakota to see the boom first-hand. Restaurants, construction companies, and local businesses are all benefiting.
Regulation based on faulty science could squash the natural gas boom in North Dakota, Ohio, and elsewhere around the country. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ongoing, unprecedented study on the impact of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water, due out in October, is at risk of being flawed
In a letter to the Office of Management and Budget’s OIRA, Bill Kovacs, the U.S. Chamber’s Senior Vice President, Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs, urges that an EPA study meet the standards of a “highly influential scientific assessment,” which would require a higher level of scientific peer review.
To meet that standard, Kovacs points out, the study should focus only on wells where hydraulic fracturing hasn’t occurred yet. The problem with studying sites where there has been alleged drinking water contamination is that it is impossible to secure baseline data after-the-fact. In other words, there is no way to know what the drinking water was like prior to the drilling. The EPA has made this mistake before – the primary criticism of its study of the Pavillion, Wyoming fracking site was its lack of baseline data. Yet, EPA is using more than double the number of retrospective sites than prospective sites in its current study.
Kovacs goes on:
Another major problem with the use of retrospective sites is that it fails to take into account the significant advances and changes with hydraulic fracturing within the last few years. Looking back at many old well sites to draw conclusions about current practices would be like comparing apples to oranges.
Further, the scientific integrity of the EPA’s current study may be further compromised by EPA’s improper expansion of the study beyond Congress’s original request to include items such as environmental justice and discharges to publicly owned water treatment works.
Search YouTube, and you’ll find many videos of people from all over the country telling stories about traveling to North Dakota to find work. Jobs are being created and the economy is booming all due to the Bakken boom. North Dakota is an example of free enterprise in action. EPA shouldn’t interfere with rules based on faulty science.