Letter to the editor: Yes, let's stick to the facts on fracking
I was glad to see that Jeff Wasden believes that facts and science should drive the debate over fracking that is currently going on in Colorado and around the country. However, his facts deserve a closer look.
He states that 99.5 percent of the fluid that is used in fracking is made up of water and sand leaving just 0.5 percent made up of fracking fluids. According to Fracfocus.org, the fracking process for the average well uses anywhere from one to eight million gallons of water, and the fracking fluids used in the average well include anywhere from three to 12 types of chemicals such as anti-freeze and industrial solvents. That 0.5 percent thus becomes rather significant. Half or more of this fluid pumped into the ground is never recovered.
Can this fluid migrate into groundwater aquifers? The wastewater that comes back to the surface must be disposed of and as there is no requirement to treat the water so that it can be reused, often this wastewater is injected into disposal wells.
In aseismic Oklahoma this process has been used and the result has been hundreds of small earthquakes. Small quakes are now occuring in Weld County and an ongoing study by CU is finding an apparent correlation with the disposal of fracking wastewater injected into disposal wells.
There are many more concerns about fracking that I could detail so I do not think it is at all unreasonable or an emotional response for the residents of a community to decide to ban this heavy industrial process from their community or to put a moratorium on the process until more is known about the risks to our health, water and air.
And finally, Mr. Wasden does not even mention probably the most important scientific reason for many people's opposition to fracking, and that is the issue of climate change. What kind of world will we have in even a short 20 years, let alone for our children and grandchildren, if we continue to squeeze every drop of oil and gas from the earth and use it?