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August 1, 2013

Let’s keep learning about fracking

NORMAN — A recent Department of Energy study is a good lesson for all concerned about drilling technology and its environmental impact.

The study, conducted at a western Pennsylvania drilling site, showed the chemical-laced fluids used in hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, did not contaminate drinking water aquifers in the area.

The study is ongoing, but this is the first independent look at fracking and whether the chemicals used in the process are a threat to people. The study showed the drilling fluids stayed well below — about a mile underneath — the drinking water supplies.

Hydraulic fracturing involves pumping water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into wells to free the natural gas trapped in rock formations underground.

Fracking has been a controversial — and misunderstood — process, with many of those opposed claiming it causes earthquakes and pollution. Frankly, we believe some people jumped to conclusions without having evidence to support their beliefs.

This study is not the definitive, final say on fracking. But, it provided some knowledge that we believe can be applied elsewhere. We also believe reasoned, rational studies and arguments are more effective than emotional, off-the-cuff remarks.

Let’s not do away with fracking just because we don’t fully understand it. Instead, let’s continue to use the process, while studying its effects.

Knowledge is never a bad thing.

— The Enid News

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