Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Is fracing becoming a household word?

Hydraulic fracturing received much publicity during 2010. Oil and gas companies along with service providers find themselves trying to educate the public about fracing amid rising criticism about the practice from certain groups.

A new national survey shows that 45% of Americans said they already are very or somewhat aware of the controversy around fracing. Infogroup/Opinion Research Corp. polled 1,012 adults Nov. 26-28 for the nonprofit Civil Society Institute.

Survey results said more than three out of four Americans polled would support tighter public disclosure requirements and studies of the health and environmental consequences of chemicals used in natural gas drilling.

The Civil Society Institute said the survey interviews were weighted by four variables: age, gender, region, and race to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total population, 18 years of age and older. In addition to the national survey, the group commissioned two separate surveys for New York residents and Pennsylvania residents.

Kathryn Z. Klaber, president and executive director of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, suggested the survey questions were “structured in such a way to generate predetermined outcomes.” Founded in 2008, the Marcellus Shale Coalition is an industry organization committed to the responsible development of the gas play.

Klaber believes industry must continue to educate communities about the steps it’s taking to protect the environment. She said industry believes educated citizens and landowners make for the best partners, and she encourages any efforts that contribute to “fact-based debate.”

The Colcom Foundation of Pittsburgh has set up a Marcellus Environmental Fund. Nonprofit organizations are being offered a total of $1 million in grants to study gas drilling practices used in the Marcellus shale development.

“Who can you trust? There is a great deal at stake,” said John F. Rohe, vice-president of philanthropy for the foundation.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home