Cross-posted by Forbes.com at WLF’s Contributor Site
Innovations in extracting natural gas and oil from America’s vast shale deposits offer the possibility of new jobs, higher tax revenues, more investment, and up to a century’s-worth of cleaner-burning domestic energy. So why is it, then, that the revolutionary process to pursue such energy – known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” – has become the latest environmental cause celebre for professional activists and their allies in government? Is their support for suffocating, precautionary restrictions or outright bans motivated by environmental and health concerns, or by a reflexive, ideological disdain for fossil fuels?
Whatever motivates them, fracking naysayers are pursuing a campaign straight out of the Activism 101 playbook, utilizing a patented mixture of demonization, regulation, and litigation.
Opponents have bombarded the media with unfounded claims that the process contaminates groundwater, accelerates global warming, and even causes earthquakes. A 2010 documentary, Gasland, demonized fracking with a one-sided examination of natural gas extraction. Some of the movie’s claims were deemed so inaccurate that Colorado oil and gas regulators issued a formal refutation document. Continue reading “Occupy Marcellus Shale?: Activists Undermine Budding Domestic Energy Resource”