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Safe Fracking: Good for America

February 27, 2017 - 6:00am

Many veterans of war, including myself, have concerns with foreign products being purchased from countries at war, namely those in the Middle East. We have come a long way in recent years to obtain our own oil and natural gas within the U.S., however we can’t lift our feet off of the pedal.

Our country must use all forms of energy to become energy independent for the good of all. There is a direct correlation between energy reliability on the Middle East affecting matters of national security. Many American veterans agree in order to improve our quality of life at home, it’s imperative we continue safely improving all energy infrastructure on our home land.
 
One safe and viable option for domestic oil and natural gas production is through hydraulic fracturing. Contrary to popular belief, this process has been used in the United States for nearly 70 years. It’s not a new technology; the practice has been tested and refined for decades. Another important point to remember is fracking falls under at least eight different federal regulations, not to mention state and local laws.
 
Fracking serves to enhance the flow of energy from a well. Many people who are nervous about the concept just don’t understand how it works -- it’s actually quite simple. First, a hole is drilled vertically to form a well that is thousands of meters underground, and then drilled horizontally into an oil or gas deposit. The hole is cased with a steel pipe cemented into place, which isolates the area of the rock to protect our water supply. Then, a special perforation gun is lowered through the pipe, and forms holes through small, quick charges. Once the holes are formed, fracking fluid is pumped through with pressurized bursts. This creates small cracks throughout the rock so that trapped oil or gas can easily flow through.
 
The fracking fluid is a mixture of 99.5 percent water and sand, combined with chemical additives which control bacteria growth and prevent corrosion. These chemicals make up less than 1 percent of the fracking fluid and are significantly below the maximum levels required by the EPA. Any water or fluid that is released through fracking is stored in a safe treatment facility. And once the process is complete – which can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days – a well can produce energy for years, even decades.
 
Currently, there is inaccurate information circulating the media about fracking’s effect on our drinking water. I want to be clear: There have been no confirmed cases of groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing in the 2 million wells fracked since the 1940s. Before fracking even begins, casings are placed into the well and the space between the casings and the drill hole is filled with cement. This ensures neither the water and sand mixture that is pumped through the well, nor the oil and gas eventually produced, will enter the water supply.
 
In fact, a 2015 study conducted by Yale University found that fracking fluids do not contaminate aquifers. The researchers also found that contamination to drinking water does not occur because of casing failures, which has been an argument by those opposed to the practice.
 
Here in the Sunshine State, scientists are currently considering using deep injection wells, a form of fracking, to restore Lake Okeechobee and the South Florida Water Management District has stated this process would not affect Florida’s drinking water supply.
 
Fracking is one of the ways we can obtain reliable, homegrown energy to power our homes, buildings, phones, cars -- you name it.
 
Oil and natural gas production keeps our everyday conveniences – ones that many countries do not have -- at our fingertips. Let’s avoid national security risk and ensure progress for our beloved U.S.A. by continuing processes like fracking within our borders and keep things moving, literally.
 
Lt. Col. Dennis Freytes, United States Army (Ret.) is co-chair of Florida Vets4Energy, a group of volunteer veterans who continue to serve America as advocates for energy policies to sustain our national security. He is in the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame.

Comments

He has all the ear marks of someone who has never met a fact or a fact check. So many of his statements are rediculously incorrect. This is what we are calling fake news today.

There is no such thing as safe fracking anymore than safe smoking! You can't regulate earthquakes or sinkholes! No legislation can stop earth shifts when the bedrock is shattered, siimple science! Pipes break, no such thing as a perfect pipe. And indocrine disruptors on need to be in a less than 1% range to cause much damage! If anyone wants energy, then go solar, wind, or tidal. These use no secret toxins!

Does not Florida substantially sit on limerock?

This is an old topic yet still with no suitable answers. Fracking "safely" has been a questions for more years than most of us has been alive, yet by now you'd think someone would have the answer to this quest by now! Only SSN would publish years old topics with no answers.

The problem is that safe fracking would require legislation with sharp enough teeth that no one would put profit ahead of safety. Only the loss of all profit for negligence, and the death penalty for deliberate violations would likely do the job.

Was Fracking good for Oklahoma?

Your story is misleading and the information you provode provide is murky and one-sided. Here is a peer reviewed publication from the EPA that defends your position to a certain degree: https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/hfstudy/recordisplay.cfm?deid=244651 But if you want to appeal to people's emotions, you need to let them know how precious little drinking water we have here in the United States. If you are a veteran for energy security, then I am a young engineer for water security, which makes my arguement equally as valid as yours. Maybe moreso because we are the future, and we are strongly opposed to Fracking in FL. The info you provided needs a giant asterisk next to it for these reasons: There is no national database of the number of wells fracked or contamination incidents at oil and gas sites. For 40 years, Congress and successive administrations have exempted the oil and gas sector from a host of federal pollution rules that would require detailed reporting of its activities. As a result, the report stitches together a piecemeal picture of fracking-related incidents. It relies on several case studies involving a handful of major incidents, such as a well blowout in Killdeer, N.D., that state regulators investigated. It also uses state data for possible contamination events, such as spills of fracking fluid at well pads, which EPA acknowledges provides a limited scope of the problem. Due to Florida's unique aquifers and groundwater system, perhaps it'd be best to pipe it in. But I have an even better idea. USE THE SUN, DENNIS.

Gee, I wondered when this retread of an article would make its way to SSN . . . . . . let's see, what's most egregious . . . . . how about an apples and oranges comparison -->"scientists are currently considering using deep injection wells, a form of fracking, to restore Lake Okeechobee and the South Florida Water Management District has stated this process would not affect Florida’s drinking water supply" . . . . . . FRACKING: "the process of injecting liquid at HIGH PRESSSURE into subterranean rocks, boreholes, etc., so as to FORCE OPEN EXISTING FISSURES and EXTRACT OIL OR GAS". . . . . . the aquifer storage the SFWMD is proposing in the boulder zone is not fracking; the comparison is inaccurate . . . . . . and I sincerely doubt that scientists at the SFWMD (or even their hydrologists) would be willing to state that fracking is always safe, regardless of location, type of material involved or amounts and pressures involved . . . . . just ask Oklahoma, which in September started to order fracking wells shut down . . . . . . . . . . . . . PATHETIC . . . .

Thank you for your service to our country but this rhetoric is a dis-service.

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