Is Fracking Bad For The Environment, Or Just Bad For “Big Green?”


The Associated Press has an interesting article today about concerns over the tact President Obama will take toward domestic fossil fuel production, specifically the process of hydraulic fracturing which has set oil and natural gas production on fire but remains controversial in environmental circles.

It’s an important debate for the country, and a scary one for those of us living in areas like North Dakota where the national recession hasn’t had an impact thanks to a strong economy predicated upon energy development. But I had to laugh out loud when the AP listed the concerns of the anti-fracking crowd and listed, without a hint of irony, the fact that many hate fracking because it’s devastating in the energy markets to “renewable energy.”

PITTSBURGH — Energy companies, environmental groups and even Hollywood stars are watching to see what decisions President Barack Obama makes about regulating or promoting natural gas drilling.

The stakes are huge. Business leaders don’t want government regulations to slow the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars of clean, cheap domestic energy over the next few decades. Environmental groups see that same tide as a potential threat, not just to air and water, but to renewable energy. And on a strategic level, diplomats envision a future when natural gas helps make the U.S. less beholden to imports.

A “potential threat” to “renewable energy.”

That speaks volumes, doesn’t it? It’s almost as if the environmentalists hate fracking, and the energy boom it has set off, not so much because there are real environmental risks but because a resurgent domestic oil/gas industry is devastating to the case for continuing to squander billions of US tax dollars on green energy pipe dreams like solar and wind.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • SigFan

    One of the things that has been talked about is that Obama is going to claw back the permitting process from the states to prevent more fracking. If he does that watch the economy tank in short order, not that I expect it will do anything else even without that. It’s just a matter of how far and how fast, but we are in for another major economic mess – and IMO that’s exactly what he wants.

  • whowon
  • Mike

    I’ve always thought that much of the “green” energy movement was predicated on the notion that the only way to make money in energy was to push out the old energy regime – gas and oil….isolate it…demonize it…regulate it out of existence…and get the government to finance its demise through forced green energy initiatives financed by tax dollars.

    The green energy movement is mostly about green – money!

  • JW -American

    Given the vast amount of Nat Gas and the methods available to harvest it. I can see a
    new industrial revolution in the USA.

    The pure volume of jobs created to develop these resources will be beyond imagine, it will require drillers, manufactures of drilling equipment, pipeline and compressore station construction, it will spin off revenue to landowners in the form of mineral and surface rights, as well as easement leases.

    Low energy prices will revitalize refining of metals and return high energy industries from overseas.

    When the infrastructure is in place most large truck fleets and railroads will use Nat Gas as fuel, driving down the demand for Crude oil which will bring down the price of gasoline.

    The money that used to flow to the middle east (nearly a trillion dollars a year) will stay in the USA and recycle 4-5 times and each time will bring in tax dollars to the city, state and federal Gov. it will be a remarkable change in tax revenue

    All we need is a Government that will stay out of the way.

    All of the above runs completely counter to the Obummer Admin’s stated goals and motives.

  • OldConserv2011

    If BO tries to claw back the permitting process as Sig says, I wonder what level of resistance he’ll get from our statewide officials. We’ve already seen signs of weakening resistance to the health care exchanges. We know that Hoeven and his successor Dalrymple are not known for taking a hard line stance on any issue, preferring more of a middle of the road moderator approach. This is gong to be a battle that moderation cannot win. And of course, we cannot count on Heidi making any kind of an opposed stance against the anointed one. She’ll pull a typical ConDorPom game of coming here and making bold statements to the Forum & Bis Trib, but going back to Washington and bowing to her party’s leadershio.

    • justnotsure

      Not much…remember federal dollars represent more than a third of the state budget!

  • banjo kid

    more than 300 additional scientists added to this report since March
    2009 (21 months ago), represents an average of nearly four skeptical
    scientists a week speaking out publicly. The well over 1,000 dissenting
    scientists are almost 20 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers. And the fracking will be the same as this no story here to see fracking does not cause the problems the greenies say it does . The pasted part is about global warming which never existed .