The Debate About Fracturing Must Be Based On Sound Science

This opinion piece presents the opinions of the author.
It does not necessarily reflect the views of Rigzone.

Hydraulic fracturing has been accused by environmental groups of everything from polluting water supplies to contaminating the air to causing cancer to inducing earthquakes.

The hysteria they have been able to create has people scared to death (no pun intended). Some residents have become so frightened that citizens have asked their city officials to prohibit hydraulic fracturing within the city limits.  Texas cities - such as College Station, Mansfield, Azle, Reno, Presidio, Alpine and, of course, Denton, which did pass a referendum banning hydraulic fracturing within the city – have all discussed banning the technology.

However, all of these claims have been proven false.

Dr. Dan Hill, head and professor and Noble Chair of the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A & M University, wrote a column that appeared in the Bryan/College Station Eagle on Dec. 30 that warned consumers “to keep an eye out for claims masquerading as ‘science.’”

He said such claims “are based on flawed research and inappropriate comparisons of air test results and safety threshold.”

Hill cited a study in Colorado, which alleged that people who live within a half mile of a natural gas well are at higher risk of cancer. That study was later criticized by the Colorado Departent of Public Health and Environment for it flawed methodology and was eventually decommissioned by the Garfield County Commissioners in Colorado.


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