Greenies, Russian Gazprom and French nuclear power lobbyists have formed an unholy alliance against shale gas harvesting in Europe, painting a picture of dangerous "pollution" and other problems. However, neither the anti-shale gas campaigners in Europe nor their colleagues in the US will succeed, because they are grossly overstating the dangers.
Here is what a new independent study by the University of Texas´Energy Institute has to say about shale gas drilling:
Preliminary findings from the Energy Institute's study released Wednesday suggest there is no link between the extraction operations and groundwater contamination, said the study's leader, Charles "Chip" Groat, a UT geology professor.
He noted that the dangers associated with shale gas drilling — which is accomplished by hydraulic fracturing, a process commonly known as fracking — are largely the same as other oil-drilling operations.
"Hydraulic fracturing doesn't seem to be of concern to groundwater," Groat said. "If there has been water contaminated related to shale gas development let's not look at fracturing, let's look at surface processes."
As in other types of drilling operations, poor casing or shoddy cement jobs have often been to blame for regulatory violations or contamination in shale gas drilling, Groat said.
Groat downplayed the problems associated with fracking.
"The violations that we've seen are of no, minor or small impact," Groat said. "The impact on groundwater, the impact on the surface is not of anything substantial, certainly not compared to coal mines or metal mines."
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