by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor, John Locke Foundation
The report, commissioned by the federal Bureau of Land Management, investigated possible effects of well stimulation technologies (WST) in California. It points out that potential energy resources are at shallower depths in California and normally require vertical rather than horizontal drilling and fracturing. The shallower depths made possible groundwater contamination more of a concern; however, the report found no instances of such contamination. Chemicals used were, with the exception of a few biocides (which are used to kill bacteria deep in the wells) and corrosion inhibitors, considered either low-toxic or nontoxic. There was no concern over any earthquake hazard, and risk of fugitive methane emissions was considered small.
All things considered, the report concluded, any direct environmental risks from hydraulic fracturing in California
appear to be relatively limited for industry practice of today and will likely be limited in the future if proper management practices are followed.
What about North Carolina?
Those who are interested — or concerned — about hydraulic fracturing in North Carolina are encouraged to read my Policy Report addressing a list of fracking concerns and my Spotlight on the chemicals used. And stay tuned; these are the first two reports in a series.