Fracking is safe

This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Re "Water at risk: Fracking rules should protect supply" (Our View, May 21):

Hydraulic fracturing has been used for more than 60 years in over 1 million wells, and the Environmental Protection Agency has not documented a single case of groundwater contamination caused by the technology. This safety record is due to a number of factors — none of them dependent on new regulations proposed by the Bureau of Land Management.

Hydraulic fracturing is typically carried out thousands of feet below ground, which means groundwater and hydraulic fracturing activity are separated by not only thousands of feet of impermeable rock but by closely monitored steel and cement well casings.

Operations are already rigorously regulated by state rules that are tailored to an area's unique geology and hydrology. The BLM itself acknowledges the vital regulatory role of state governments, stressing that the proposed rule aims to "avoid duplication with the requirements of states."

Considering the effectiveness of existing state and federal regulations, duplication is likely and counterproductive. The BLM should take care to avoid imposing duplicative federal regulations that jeopardize job creation and economic growth.

Erik Milito Group director, upstream and industry operations, American Petroleum Institute

Washington, D.C.