If you’ve been listening to the tree-hugging environmentalist crowd for the last decade, you have probably come to believe that fracking is on the verge of destroying the United States. The green crowd has decided that natural gas is not an appropriate substitute for crude oil, and they have brought an unprecedented scare campaign to bear on the hydraulic fracturing method used to bring it to the surface. But according to a long-awaited study by the Environmental Protection Agency, these fears are overblown.
In an exhaustive, four-year study of the industry, the EPA concluded that there were no signs that fracking had “widespread, systemic” impacts on the quality of America’s drinking water. This conclusion is sure to send environmental groups into a frenzy, seeing as how this contamination has been a central part of their crusade. Films like Gasland and Promised Land have made it seem as though the natural gas industry is turning drinking water into a flammable, undrinkable catastrophe.
Not so, says the EPA. While there have been isolated incidents in which fracking has caused water pollution, there is nothing in evidence to say the procedure is having a lasting, widespread affect on our water supplies.
Will this stop the anti-fracking crowd? Of course not. These environmental groups have thrown their money and support behind wind and solar energy alternatives, and they are not about to sit back and let natural gas become America’s new fossil fuel of choice. They don’t just want to clean up the environment; they want to do it their way. And they aren’t above dismissing a conclusive, peer-reviewed study if the findings aren’t what they wanted them to be. After all, they’ve certainly been willing to overlook conflicting studies on global warming.
As far as government policy goes, though, this study should pave the way for looser regulations. We can’t continue to overregulate the energy sector on the whims of the green movement. If there are cold, scientific reasons to take action, that’s one thing. But we are talking about thousands of jobs, major exporting opportunities, and the balance of the entire economy. If people want to put restrictions on industry, it is incumbent on them to prove the need for those restrictions. So far, there has been a lot of talk and not a lot of facts.
It’s a shame this has become such a politicized topic of discussion, but environmentalists have turned their once-noble efforts into a religion. They don’t want to “drill responsibly.” They are in a war with capitalism. They want to bring the whole system crashing down; global warming and fracking and all the rest…these are just means to an end. The sooner the American people wake up to the left’s real agenda, the sooner we can start having sensible discussions about what’s best for the planet.