Thanks to technologies such as hydraulic fracturing, the United States is the world’s largest producer of natural gas. But while domestic natural gas and oil production continues to increase, opponents of the new technology continue to become more desperate.
The environmental lobby, which condemns natural gas drilling, once praised natural gas as a “bridge fuel” to a new “energy economy.” Now anti-energy activists are intensifying their rhetoric and taking their anti-natural-gas attack to Washington. On Saturday, anti-energy activists are rallying in the nation’s capital to “stop the frack attack.” But it’s hard to understand what they are complaining about.
Until just a few years ago, the vast reserves of natural gas and oil were unreachable because those resources were trapped in shale rock. Geologists knew the resources were in the rocks, but they did not have the capability to extract the resources efficiently. Today, because of the combination of new technological advances in horizontal drilling combined with hydraulic fracturing, the United States is taking advantage of new natural gas and oil production.
Natural gas and oil companies have used hydraulic fracturing for more than 60 years. Despite being used in more than 1.2 million wells, there isn’t one confirmed case of groundwater contamination. That is a pretty impressive safety record, and it makes you wonder what anti-energy activists mean when they talk of a “frack attack.”