Webster defines “groupthink” as “conformity to group values and ethics.” In my book, that is exactly what is going on in Mora and San Miguel counties relative to hydraulic fracking, a technology that allows natural gas to be collected from deep rock formations.
Everyone is and has been told that it is the latest corporate plot to destroy the environment, by contaminating groundwater supplies with toxic, cancer-causing chemicals. But only one side of the story is being presented, and that’s where the groupthink comes in.
One of the most renowned scientific institutions in this country, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, completed a study in June 2011, “The Future of Natural Gas.” On Page 40 of this study it states, “In the studies surveyed, no incidents are reported which conclusively demonstrate contamination of shallow water zones with fracture fluids.” Surprised? And also consider that the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson, said last year, “I’m not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water …”.
Again on Page 40, the MIT study indicates: “The fracturing process itself poses minimal risk to the shallow groundwater zones that may exist in the upper portion of the wellbore …. multiple layers of cement and casing protect the freshwater zones as the fracture fluid is pumped from the surface down into the shale formation. This protection is tested at high pressures before the fracturing fluids are pumped down hole … the large vertical separation between the shale sections being fractured and the shallow zones prevents the growth of fractures from the shale formation into shallow groundwater zones.”
So what’s all the fuss about? I think it all derives from an anti-fossil fuel ideology, i.e., the theory that we are causing the climate to warm because of our use of oil and gas for transportation, heating, running factories, lighting buildings, etc. Though I support renewable energy development, I don’t believe it will never be more than a small part of our energy mix. Solar and wind power will never power semis, trains and airplanes.
The MIT Study asserts that fracking is not the evil it is made out to be. My purpose here is to break through the groupthink and provide another side to the fracking issue. I hope you will consider it in determining your position.