Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Does Congress know about Environmentally Friendly Drilling?

Government oversight never will ensure environmental protection. Private stewardship is the key—people and companies doing the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing. In the oil industry, this stewardship already is happening.

Some members of Congress currently believe they can better protect drinking water resources by regulating hydraulic fracturing at a federal level. I wonder if they know about the Environmentally Friendly Drilling (EFD) program. This federally funded collaborative research involves Texas A&M University, the Houston Advanced Research Center, and others.

David Burnett, an A&M professor and director of technology for the Global Petroleum Research Institute, has worked for a decade on recycling water from oil fields. His work focuses on using membranes to recycle water used in hydraulic fracturing.

“Outlawing fracturing is like outlawing the trucking industry because trucks pollute. It would be incredible,” Burnett said. “It would just kill the oil and gas industry, which would kill a major part of what makes our country run.”

Gas shale plays require large volumes of water for hydraulic fracturing, which enables gas production. Burnett’s goal is to treat water used in fracturing so that the same water can be used for additional fracturing jobs.

He questions whether politicans understand hydraulic fracturing, which already is regulated by the states. The US Environmental Protection Agency in 2004 found no evidence that hydraulic fracturing posed a legitimate risk to ground and drinking water. The Ground Water Protection Council confirmed this finding.

Burnett said, “I don’t care about somebody being against oil and gas if they have their facts right.... Why should Congress prop up General Motors and make cars and trucks if we don’t have anything to run them on? That is essentially what is happening.”

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March 28, 2017 at 11:45 PM  

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