America's shale gas resources can play a critical role in securing America's energy future, members of a key Energy and Commerce subcommittee heard yesterday -- but only if the technology needed to produce those resources remains intact and under the regulatory oversight of the states. Subsequent to this morning's hearing, Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), issued the following statement:
"Considered within the context of an administration almost singularly focused on denying Americans access to energy resources offshore, America's onshore shale resources was an inevitable development -- but one that could not be possible without advances in horizontal drilling and a key technology known as hydraulic fracturing.
"Unfortunately, national activists understand the potential of this technology as well and are currently engaged in an aggressive campaign to block the responsible development of homegrown energy -- this time, not by attacking the carpenter, but by taking away his tools.
"The irony here is that hydraulic fracturing has for decades been considered an environmentally sensitive technology -- not only because 99.5 percent of the solution it uses is water and sand, but because it allows operators to produce ten times the amount of energy by drilling one-tenth the number of wells. And there, my friends, is exactly the reason why the technology is coming under fire: It's safe, it's effective, and it's used to produce fossil fuels.
"At a time when Washington begins to focus on job creation and the economy, the domestic coal, oil and natural gas industry can no longer be ignored by the Obama Administration and Congress. Our domestic energy industry, and the environmentally sound technologies used to extract these energy resources -- like hydraulic fracturing -- have the potential to put thousands of Americans back to work. Any 'jobs bill' that fails to recognize this fact, will shortchange the American people."
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