The fact that hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. “fracking”) is a decades-old drilling technique currently going on all over the United States; that even the zealous bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency have been unable to confirm their worst fears about the longstanding practice; and that fracking has led to the increased use of natural gas, which in turn has been the main driver behind the United States’ lately decreased carbon emissions, all seem to pass blithely unnoticed by the truly determined and self-titled environmentalists who would rather see the government put a stop to the technique altogether.
Natural gas and hydraulic fracturing are already an integral part of our energy sector and wider economy, but hasn’t stopped the state of New York from banning the practice altogether nor states like Massachusetts from currently entertaining the notion of passing such a ban. Even California, albeit with restrictions and regulations aplenty, is keeping the technique around and moving forward frackable resources, but some states and extremist groups are still determined to prevent their regions from getting in on the economic action — since even the Obama administration’s environmental officials of both past and present are pretty much on board with it. Via the Washington Examiner:
“This is something you can do in a safe way,” former Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said while speaking in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 18. He also said that it was a “false choice” to say that the country can either preserve the environment or acquire cheap natural gas.
More than 1,000 miles away, former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was singing the same tune.
“I would say to everybody that hydraulic fracking is safe,” Salazar said during a conference in Las Cruces, N.M. He said that fracking was “creating an energy revolution in the United States.”
Chu and Salazar joined current Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, who in early September praised fracking as “a big contributor to our carbon reduction” and “a huge economic benefit.”
I wouldn’t exactly say that the Obama administration is embracing fracking itself (wouldn’t want to too generously acknowledge its role in their otherwise sorely lacking economic gains, would they?), and they’ll certainly look for any excuse to seize more bureaucratic authority via regulation in any and all areas, but they are at least tepidly including natural gas as part of their ostensible “all of the above” energy strategy (if only as a rhetorically convenient “bridge fuel” on our merry way to more alternative technologies). Unfortunately, I doubt even the former Obama administration leading officials tacit approval of the practice will dissuade the ultra-greenies in their misbegotten quest to stamp the whole thing out.