A Colorado court this past week declared that state law is responsible for regulating the oil and gas industry, including the technology of hydraulic fracturing of shale utilizing horizontal drilling: fracking. This effectively ruled against the authority of the city of Longmont to ban fracking and wastewater disposal. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) is responsible for preventing waste of oil and gas and the city s attempted ban interfered with this responsibility, according to the court.
Colorado is just the latest state to join the fracking debate, falling among the ranks of Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, New Mexico, Texas, California and Michigan: venues where local authorities and the state are fighting over who has control over oil and gas operations.
Director of the COGCC, Matt Lepore, says, We are not an industry marketing arm of an industry cheerleader. Yes, we can foster development and protect public health at the same time.
And fracking does just that, as evidenced by the conclusions of our own peer-reviewed work on the subject. From our press release: Backed by sound science and increasingly encouraging data, hydraulic fracturing is proving beneficial to Americans in a myriad of important ways. Cleaner burning natural gas is making our air safer to breathe. Access to less expensive energy is lowering overall fuel prices ($100 billion in savings in 2011 alone). And it s continuing to be a job creator, as more than half the states across the country have joined the fracking revolution. And, best of all ¦ it s safe.
ACSH S Dr. Gil Ross added this: The controversy over fracking has been whipped up by science-free activists opposed to any progress in general, and fervently opposed to anything promoting increased use of fossil fuels, as it conflicts with their sustainable, wind and sun worldview. There is zero evidence that this method of exploitation of desperately needed gas (and oil) reserves is innately dangerous or harmful to human health, the environment, or water. Although the ban on fracking in Longmont will remain as the city decides whether or not to appeal the decision of the court, we hope the civic leaders will come to their senses and abandon this counterproductive fight. They, like King Canute, cannot long hold back the waves.