Fracking. It's a word laced with misconceptions. Because of this it has been portrayed as an evil villain by pop culture and many in the media. Some say that it kills animals, can make tap water flame and causes earthquakes. No wonder so many fear the very thought that it could be allowed to occur in their own backyard.
The problem is that many of the concerns Americans have with fracking are simply not true. What's portrayed in some popular movies on the subject is a version of the truth. Because yes, tap water can be set aflame and earthquakes are felt in areas that are associated with oil and gas drilling. However, neither is directly associated with the process of fracking. There are so many other things most Americans don't know about the process.
Going down deep for the facts
In order to address these and many other misconceptions the energy industry has stepped up its efforts to get the real truth about fracking out there. Its most recent attempt is a film called Down Deep , which was sponsored by WPX Energy (NYSE:WPX). It's the fracking movie that simply must be seen because it presents the real facts on the process in a way that's easy to understand.
The film addresses many of the misconceptions of fracking. One that it hits head on are the concerns surrounding water. The biggest fear that many have is that their drinking water will either be set ablaze or contain harmful chemicals. Despite what's bandied about as facts, neither is caused by fracking.
In fact, the whole idea of gas or chemicals migrating up to the drinking water has been proven to simply not occur. In fact, several recent studies, including a landmark study by the Department of Energy, shows no migration of gas or chemicals anywhere near drinking water. This is why the Obama administration has continued to throw its support behind this controversial activity.
The one quote that is simply mind blowing is that from Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. She said that she is, "not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water." What's remarkable about this is that the EPA, under her watch, was on hand after the Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG) incident in Dimock, Pennsylvania. While the movie doesn't directly address this particular incident, it does go into great depths to dispel many of the water contamination myths that are out there.
Diving deeper into the water problem
The movie also discusses the industry's issues with freshwater usage. Many worry that there won't be enough fresh water left for drinking because of fracking. However, as the movie points out, the water used to frack one well is the same amount that's used to water a golf course every couple of weeks.
Further, it goes into some detail about areas where the industry is focusing on to reduce its water intake. One of the major industry trends over the past few years has been the movement to recycle the water used in fracking. Companies like Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) and Nuverra Environmental Solutions (NYSE:NES) are working with producers on a major water recycling initiative which could significantly reduce the amount of freshwater used in the process. This whole issue has become a major focus of producers like WPX Energy, and the company's management team discusses this at great lengths in the film.
As someone who has followed the energy industry for a few years now, it's pretty remarkable how much it has changed its way to address the misconceptions. The fracking process of just a few years ago, the one many people still complain about today, is remarkably different today. Bottom line, a process that was safe before, is exponentially safer today.
That's why I'd encourage readers that want to know the true facts on fracking take the time to view the film that WPX Energy has sponsored. The movie can be seen below or at Down Deep.com:
Now that you have the facts, invest with confidence in America's energy future
Fool contributor Matt DiLallo owns shares of Nuverra Environmental Solutions. The Motley Fool recommends Halliburton. The Motley Fool owns shares of Nuverra Environmental Solutions and has the following options: long January 2014 $4 calls on Nuverra Environmental Solutions and short January 2014 $3 puts on Nuverra Environmental Solutions. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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