Letter: Hydraulic Fracturing Benefits New Mexico

Jack Bent
The Daily Times


Last month, Iranian gunboats fired on a Singapore-flagged oil tanker as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz. In April, Iran patrol boats seized and detained a Marshal Islands cargo ship for more than 10 days. Perhaps not since the "tanker wars" of the 1980s has the region been this unstable.

With heightened turmoil in the Middle East fueled by ISIS's expansion, ongoing hostilities in Syria, Iran's territorial aggression, and other volatile conditions, U.S. energy security is once again becoming a focus of attention.

Twenty percent of U.S. oil gross imports — two million barrels per day — are from Persian Gulf countries. Consequently, America's imported oil supply is now at heightened risk.

The good news, however, is that America has a safe, domestic alternative supply of shale-sourced oil. With newly-advanced technologies, such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, the U.S. has an abundant oil supply and ranks No. 1 in the world in oil production — topping Saudi Arabia and Russia.

These methods are safe, economical and have created good-paying jobs. New Mexico has benefited tremendously from the oil and gas revenues. Nearly 70,000 New Mexicans work in oil and gas related fields and state revenue from oil and gas funds 85 percent of our capital projects.

According to Western Energy Alliance, hydraulic fracturing has been performed since 1949 with an unblemished safety record and no documented cases involving contaminated drinking water. Neither the EPA nor any state regulator has ever found a case of contamination of underground drinking water caused by the process. Hydraulic fracturing is a win-win for New Mexico and for the nation.