Fracking's 'record'

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On July 27 the Post-Gazette carried an obituary on the death of oilman George P. Mitchell ("Texas Oilman Pioneered 'Fracking' Technique"). The obituary states that after two decades of developments his company finally achieved success in fracking for gas in the Barnett Shale in the 1990s. According to energy historian Daniel Yergin in his book "The Quest," the first breakthroughs in Mitchell's fracking techniques occurred in late 1998 and the first large-scale use (55 horizontal wells) of this technique was pioneered by Devon Energy in 2003 after it had acquired Mitchell's company.

Though the practice is little more than a decade old, the shale gas industry and the politicians who support fracking have stated over and over again that the industry has fracked safely for more than 70 years and therefore the public should not be concerned about contamination of fresh water aquifers. These pro-shale gas folks are obviously not telling the truth about fracking's "track record," or they have trouble with math.

BLAKE RAGGHIANTI
Scott


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