On the very same day that the Wall Street Journal announces: "US Rises to No. 1 Energy Producer" -- thanks to the shale boom made possible through a technology known as hydraulic fracturing -- an environmental group released a report calling for a complete ban of the practice, which would effectively shut down the oil-and-gas industry (and all of the jobs and revenues it creates) and increase dependence on foreign oil.

You probably haven't heard about either, as most news coverage, on October 3, centered on the government shutdown.

Why would Environment America choose to release the report on a day when it would likely receive little attention? The answer is found in the Journal: "the shale boom's longevity could hinge on commodity prices, government regulations and public support." (italics added)

Americans support the concept of energy independence. We don't like the fact that we've been funding terrorists who happily slaughter our citizens.

The Obama Administration is the most anti-fossil-fuel in history, yet within the past month, three Obama cabinet members -- two former, one current -- have declared fracking a safe technology for extracting oil and natural gas:

• At a speech in Columbus, Ohio, former Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said that fracking "is something you can do in a safe way."

• At the Domenici Public Policy conference in Las Cruces, New Mexico, former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar stated: "I would say to everybody that hydraulic fracking is safe."

• In a meeting with the N.Y. Daily News editorial board, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz asserted: "Fracking for natural gas is climate-friendly, environmentally safe and economically stimulating" and added: "Which is just what America and New York need."

Then, in the same month, in the greenest state of the Union, against strong opposition, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a hotly-contested bill that reflects that he favors some level of fracking.

These pro-fracking news items, along with several recent reports pointing to the safety of hydraulic fracturing, have the anti-fracking crowd resorting to desperation. And, then the Journal announces America's energy dominance on its front page. I suspect that Environment America had their little report ready to go and were just waiting for the right time to release it -- probably after the shutdown, when the news cycle had some space. But, when the Journal heralded the U.S. energy comeback, they just had to spring it -- hoping to shift public opinion.

The environmentalists' advertising efforts have had an impact. A September Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that opposition to increased use of fracking rose to 49 percent from 38 percent in the previous six months.

Why, when hydraulic fracturing has brought America to the brink of energy independence, been the biggest driver of job growth, lowered utility bills, and positively impacted the trade deficit, are people opposed to it? Because they don't really know what it is, and, therefore, are gullible to the old adage: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

A University of Michigan report on hydraulic fracturing found: "The public tends to view the word 'fracking' as the entirety of the natural gas development process, from leasing and permitting, to drilling and well completion, to transporting and storing wastewater and chemicals." In fact, fracking is limited to the process of injecting fluids into a well--just a few days of a multi-month operation (not counting leasing and permitting).

This widespread misunderstanding explains why the repeated lies have taken hold.

One of the most rampant lies about fracking made by the environmentalists is about water. The press release about the "Fracking by the Numbers" report, claims: "Of particular concern are the billions of gallons of toxic waste created from fracking, which threaten the environment, public health and drinking water."

On page five, Fracking by the Numbers states: "Fracking operations have used at least 250 billion gallons of water since 2005," which sounds ominous until you get some perspective. For example, over that same period, car washes have used more than twice as much water: 600 plus billion gallons. In the state of Colorado, where water supplies can be constrained and oil-and-gas development is high, water used for fracking amounts to less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the state's total water demand.

The report claims: "While most industrial uses of water return it to the water cycle for further use, fracking converts clean water into toxic wastewater, much of which must then be permanently disposed of, taking billions of gallons out of the water supply annually"--which is false. The oil-and-gas industry is now using water that is not suitable for farming or drinking and then reusing the water over and over.

We could go on picking apart the 47-page report, but these deceptions on water give you the idea. Energy In Depth has a more thorough review of Environment America's "Fracking by the Numbers."

Thanks to hydraulic fracturing America is on the brink of energy independence, it has provided the biggest driver of job growth, lowered utility bills, and positively impacted the trade deficit, yet one small, well-funded, and vocal segment of the population is opposed to it -- using false scare tactics to sway pubic opinion. When you think about why they would want to ban this single, effective economic stimulus, it should make you shudder and cause you to commit -- with me -- to spreading the truth.

 

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens' Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE).