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Ohio Utica Shale

Anti-frackers accepting the inevitable

By Jim Mackinnon Published: October 11, 2013

Some of the most prominent fracking opponents are changing their tune and appear to accept that fracking and its related technology are inevitable, Loren Steffy writes at Forbes.

Steffy:  "After years of virulent anti-fracking efforts, some residents of northwestern Pennsylvania may be changing their tune. The Associated Press reported recently that critics of hydraulic fracturing in the area around Dimock, the center for many claims about contaminated water and other disastrous environmental fallout, have begun working with the energy industry. Some landowners even have signed natural gas leases and are now touting the environmental benefits of the fuel, which burns cleaner than coal or oil.

"As the AP noted, Victoria Switzer, an outspoken critic of fracking, is among the most prominent converts ..."

"In an interview for my upcoming Texas Monthly story on George P. Mitchell, who is considered 'the father of fracking' the critic noted that drilling technique was here to stay. The economic benefits are undeniable, both in terms of jobs and revenue.  More importantly, the oil and gas production fracking has unleashed in the U.S. is shifting the dynamics of petro-politics on a global scale and bringing more stability and certainty to energy supplies at home.

"Those who see Switzer as a sellout are missing the bigger picture. Many who opposed fracking may not have understood the complex geological issues involved. They may not have even established cause-and-effect between the drilling process and issues such as methane in their water supplies. But they did draw attention to the oil industry’s lack of concern for local residents. They drove home the message that industry, which for decades operated in relative obscurity in remote areas, must improve its practices if it’s going to drill in people’s backyards."

Read the whole thing here.

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Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

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