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Debunking Myths about Fracking

Thanks to hydraulic fracturing, the U.S. is producing more oil and natural gas than it has in decades. This is creating jobs around the country, growing our economy, and reducing our need for imported energy. And yet, the fracking process is under attack like never before.

As Energy Citizens know, many of these attacks are based on falsehoods. In a recent op-ed, petroleum geologist Gerry Calhoun sets the record straight about fracking.

For instance, anti-fracking activists like to claim that it uses a lot of water. Not so, points out Calhoun:

“Typically, the procedure requires a million gallons of fresh water. The amount sounds huge until you compare it with irrigation and municipal needs. In Colorado, hydro-fracking uses only 0.01 percent of the state’s water needs. Golf courses use 10 times as much. Irrigation uses 62 percent of the total, with power plants next at the trough. Irrigation uses more water in two days than HF uses in two years. Thus disappears the latest, but assuredly not the last, complaint of the anti-fossil-energy clique.”

What about those chemicals in fracking fluid?

“In the face of suspicion about dangerous contents in the frack formula, you might be surprised to learn that 90 percent of the “chemicals” used in fracking is gelatin, the stuff in Jell-O. Its purpose is to increase the water’s viscosity that holds the sand in suspension until it reaches the targeted shale. Other ingredients resemble those in laundry detergent.”

This is the type of straightforward, factual information we need if our nation’s energy renaissance is going to continue. If the attacks on fracking succeed, then our oil and natural gas production will plummet. Articles like Mr. Calhoun’s are vital to helping the public realize that fracking is a safe process that’s been used for decades. 

Energy Secretary Moniz Touts All-of-the-Above Energy Approach

Our nation benefits from having a diverse supply of energy sources. President Obama has embraced an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, which recognizes the importance of this energy diversity. It’s a view we share, too.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz recently penned an op-ed discussing this strategy. In it, he notes the important role oil and natural gas are playing in meeting America’s energy needs:

“We’re producing more natural gas than ever before — a trend the Energy Information Administration forecasts will continue into the foreseeable future.  Nearly half of the drop we have seen in U.S. carbon emissions is due to the market substitution of natural gas for coal in the electrical sector. And natural gas has had a remarkable effect on domestic manufacturing. As the President noted in his State of the Union address, businesses plan to invest almost $100 billion in new factories powered by natural gas.”

Much of today’s natural gas production is the direct result of hydraulic fracturing. While not explicitly mentioned in Secretary Moniz’ column, both he and President Obama know this. Without fracking, a great deal of the natural gas fueling our communities and driving business investment would be out of reach. And yet, there are sustained efforts throughout the country to undermine fracking and even make it illegal. If anti-energy activists behind these efforts succeed, the effect will be devastating on our nation’s economy and energy security.

It’s good to see President Obama and Secretary Moniz don’t appear to be persuaded by “sky is falling” rhetoric from these activists. Natural gas is an important part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy, and that means fracking is too. 

Energy Citizens Taking a Stand for LNG Exports

Thanks to all Energy Citizens in Maryland and across the country that took action to support Maryland’s Cove Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility. With their help, over 20,000 comments were submitted to the Maryland Public Service Commission.

Exporting LNG gives America the potential to change the worldwide energy dynamic for the better and improve energy security for our allies. We have the resources, we have the technology, and we have the energy supply to become a world energy superpower. We just need smart local and federal energy policies and the right energy infrastructure.

Adding export capabilities to the Cove Point LNG facility is part of the energy infrastructure solution America needs to realize its full potential as an energy superpower. Plus, the project will create 3,000 jobs for local residents and eventually generate an extra $40 million to Calvert County, Maryland each year.

Thanks again to all those who took that message to the Maryland Public Service Commission and asked them to approve the Cove Point LNG export project. 

Energy Citizens Speak Out

Energy Citizens have actively been speaking out about the importance of approving the Keystone XL Pipeline. Check out a few of the most recent letters to the editor that have been published in their local papers:

“During his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said he will not hesitate to use his "pen and phone" during his "year of action." Well, one item for which he can certainly use his pen to take action and help create thousands of jobs would be to approve construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.” – Michael Murphy, Milwaukee, WI

“In Ohio, we’re used to swing state partisanship; we’re used to attack ads and sensationalized political disagreements. So it’s understandable that when a rare issue unites Democrats and Republicans, Ohioans would rally for its support. Case in point: the Keystone XL Pipeline.” – Brian Wollet, Mentor, OH

“The U.S. State Department has found Keystone XL would be the safest pipeline ever built due to the fact that TransCanada had to meet 59 additional safety conditions. This project would also provide the stimulus our economy has needed to fully recover. It’s time that President Obama FINALLY approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. – Dave Baker, Madison, WI

Let friends and neighbors know about the important energy issues going on in your community. Write a letter to the editor today!  Email your energy citizens coordinator at renee@energycitizens.org to learn more.

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