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Richmond newspaper does not like fracking in Virginia

By Bob Downing Published: September 11, 2013

From Media Matters for America:

The Richmond Times-Dispatch published an editorial dismissing the alleged "fear and disinformation" surrounding hydraulic fracturing.... but admitted the process is not safe enough for Virginia.
 
The NIMBYism is clearly concerning. It's understandable that the editorial board would not want to contaminate the drinking water and decimate the beauty of Virginia's natural landscape, but it is unclear why it is willing to tolerate such damage in another state.
 

http://mm4a.org/18cAhL6
 

 

Richmond Times-Dispatch Likes Fracking -- But Not In Virginia

Blog ››› 40 minutes ago ››› SALVATORE COLLELUORI
 

The Richmond Times-Dispatch published an editorial dismissing the alleged "fear and disinformation" surrounding hydraulic fracturing to claim it is "not so toxic," but admitted the process is not safe enough for Virginia.

The September 11 editorial attacked opponents of hydraulic fracturing -- also known as fracking - claiming that they "have waged a campaign of fear and disinformation" about the process, which is "not so toxic as its foes make it out to be."

But the Times-Dispatch quickly pivoted to denounce fracking in Virginia's George Washington National Forest, which provides drinking water to millions of people. As the editorial explains, it's still a process "that uses strong chemicals and relies on heavy machinery," which is "a lot to introduce to a largely pristine landscape":

The U.S. Forest Service is completing a 15-year management plan and soon will decide whether to permit fracking in George Washington. While fracking is not so toxic as its foes make it out to be, it remains an industrial process -- one that uses strong chemicals and relies on heavy machinery. That is a lot to introduce to a largely pristine landscape.

Granted, the federal government owns far too much real estate -- particularly out west. Public lands should not be categorically sealed off from private use. The George Washington Natural Forest, however, is not just any old lump of real estate. It is a treasure that merits close guarding.

The Times-Dispatch's NIMBYism is clearly concerning. It is understandable that the editorial board would not want to contaminate the drinking water and decimate the beauty of Virginia's natural landscape, but it is unclear why it is willing to tolerate such damage in another state. The Times-Dispatch's reasoning that public lands should be targeted because "the federal government owns too much real estate - particularly out west" is misleading, as approximately 3,400 wells, or about 90 percent of those drilled on Federal and Indian lands, are already "stimulated using hydraulic fracturing techniques."

Additionally, as the Times-Dispatch acknowledges, natural gas is less CO2-intensive than coal. However, ramping up production would still not result in significant emissions reductions in the absence of comprehensive climate policy and ramped-up renewable energy. In fact, a report by Resources for the Future and the National Energy Policy Institute explained that cheaper, more abundant natural gas without complementary policy changes would "boost overall energy consumption and reduce the use of nuclear and renewable energy sources for electric power generation" resulting in almost 1 percent higher projected CO2 emissions. As the Natural Resources Defense Council has noted, climate change figures to bring a raft of new problems to Virginia.

 
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Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

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

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.