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AP environmental reporting badly slanted

Date published: 2/26/2013

AP environmental reporting badly slanted

Many leaders of the environmental movement have replaced science with environmental alarmism. They have supplanted a movement that improved the human condition with one that resembles a cult.

Their mantra is sustainability. They dominate Associated Press reporting and the EPA. Their latest target is fracking.

They claim fracking fluid and natural gas can migrate through the fractures to pollute groundwater. They ignore the hundreds of feet of nonporous rock between the fracture zone and groundwater.

The EPA has wasted millions of your tax dollars trying to find a single instance of this and have failed.

Natural gas can escape near the surface of a fracked well if it is not properly sealed. The old-fashioned vertically drilled well has the same risk. When this occurs it can be corrected and no permanent harm results.

Hundreds of thousands of vertical wells have been drilled. We would have heard from the alarmists if this was anything but a rare and minor problem.

The final potential source of pollution is the fracking fluid that is stored in above-ground pits or tanks. This can leak, but it is easily regulated and inspected. Fracking fluid is 99.5 percent water and sand. It has been used with tens of thousands of oil wells and is a minimal environmental risk. So why the alarm?

Fracking can provide abundant low-cost energy. This is anathema to these extremists who want us to live in small apartments and ride bicycles to work. It's a shame that The Free Lance-Star, which has excellent local reporting, would pollute the paper with alarmist environmental reporting from the AP.

Frank Petranka