Fracking foe short on facts

Fracking foe short on facts
November 15, 2012

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith is a policy analyst for the Government Relations Department at The Heartland Institute... (read full bio)

A moratorium on fracking is a very bad idea for Illinois (Fracking moratorium finds friendly audience in Carbondale, Oct. 31). Opponents have little evidence that fracking contaminates groundwater supplies or is a threat to public health in any way.

The representative from Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment, who claimed to have a 128-page report from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency of fracking-related contamination failed to tell The Southern Illinoisan that the report is more than 30 years old, and is in regards to wastewater disposal, an entirely separate industrial process that is not unique to fracking. A fracking moratorium wouldn’t even prevent other manufacturers from disposing wastewater in their own way not to mention a lot of regulations have changed since 1978.

According to the highly-respected research firm IHS, 1.7 million jobs have been created by the energy production boom in which fracking and horizontal drilling technologies were largely responsible for, and three million expected by 2020. If Illinois, with 8.8 percent unemployment, is going to avoid taking full advantage of this economic opportunity, it should be because of a lot more evidence than a report from 1978.

[First published in The Southern Illinoisan.]

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith is a policy analyst for the Government Relations Department at The Heartland Institute... (read full bio)