A frack fan’s defense manual

frackingThe US shale gas boom made a heavy impact on the world as it made gas much more abundant and as a consequence of that prices fell. That brought shale gas into the spotlight of the media and thus onto the political stage, where the method to extract it from the underground, fracking, has become THE hot potato. Environmentalists have rallied in protests against fracking. So surely the “frack fans” have to face the green opposition and defeat it with better arguments. So I have compiled the, in my own opinion, most common anti-fracking arguments raised by the environmentalists and some responses that a frack fan could make use of – in defense of fracking. Fracking is a truly good thing and so it deserves to be defended and supported. 

Round 1:
Environmentalist: “As the US has embarked massively on shale gas projects, we have observed several cases of fracking contaminating the drinking water (groundwater) in the US. Therefore fracking is not a safe method to use.” 

Frack fan response: “According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) there is no documentation of fracking actually contaminating the groundwater and thus the drinking water. Fracking is done 2-3 Km below drinking water supplies and so the distance of the procedure and drinking water is so big, that it is simply not very likely to ever happen that a hydraulic fracture would ever reach drinking water supply level. Thus we can observe it has never actually happened.” 

Round 2:
Environmentalis: “Fracking causes many, big earthquakes and is therefore dangerous.” 

Frack fan response: “According to a report by Durham University’s Energy Institute on the topic, there have to this day only been 3 cases of fracking actually causing earthquakes. So it is not very likely to happen if taking on a frack job. Furthermore those 3 documented earthquakes were not big, they were in fact all reported as MINOR. Reservoir water storage, geothermal activity and mining, all manmade actions, causes bigger earthquakes than fracking. So fracking shouldn’t be singled out as something ‘more dangerous’ than other human activities in energy business.” (I do realize that at this point the environmentalist could of course argue that they are against all manmade intervention into the natural order of nature and so all should be banned. BUT if the environmentalist goes that far, they are not to reason with anyway. )

Round 3:
Environmentalist: “Fracking implies pumping all sorts of secret chemicals into the underground, because the companies behind the frack jobs refuse to inform on what exactly they are pumping into the ground. Therefore we don’t know that these chemicals are not poisonous to humans. Fracking poses a potential threat to human health.”

Frack fan response: “The companies performing a frack job are obliged to inform the relevant, public authority on what exactly they are pumping into the ground of chemical additives. So the authorities are aware, there are no secrets. Furthermore the companies have to comply with general rules that are already in place on human health, environmental protection, etc. Finally the chemical additives used, are usually items from household cleaning products or from the food industry. So they are already approved by authorities and on the market. “

Round 4:

Environmentalist: “Shale gas is a fossil fuel, it shouldn’t be regarded as a solution to climate change problems and it certainly won’t help a transition into a green economy.”

Frack fan response: “Amen!” (Is there really more to it?!) 




Sasha Renate Bermann, PR & Marketing manager at VaasaETT – Global Energy Think Tank, blogger on Vox Liberalis and Libertarian activist.

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