Fracking Would Revive Texas' Energy-Patch Glory
“The water table is just once concern, not just the water removed to do the drilling, but the pollution from runoff as well as spills,” says Young. “People think this is a clean process but it really isn’t. This is Texas, which is notorious where environmental concerns of any kind are swept under the rug.”
Some experts say what is actually inflated are the environmental concerns. In April, the Environmental Protection Agency dropped a claim that an energy company contaminated drinking water in Texas following a showdown with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who called environmental concerns “a fear tactic" of the Left.
“In every case but one, where there was improper management, water contamination hasn’t been an issue,” says UT's Tunstall. “There is also no evidence that directly links hydraulic fracturing that is being done 6,000 feet or deeper to water contamination. The concerns are justified, but any concerns that this could be another BP type disaster aren’t. This is a very different process from drilling to production.”
Even the amount of water being used has been widely overstated, says Williams.
“If you look at the use and compare it to a town of 10,000 to 20,000 people, it is actually far less water than is what people use to water their lawns over the course of a few days.”
Despite the outstanding environmental concerns, once the price of natural gas rises again, it could likely change the Texas landscape in many ways — but the debate will continue — for better or worse.