Sunday, May 26, 2013

Texas Congress Considers Fracking Resolution

State Representative Jim Keffer of Eastland, TX filed a "fracking" resolution on May 26, 2013.

HR 2853 opposes regulations and policies enacted by the US Bureau of Land Management. In the resolution, Keffer claims that BLM attempts to push a "one-size-fits-all" suite of regulations and policies concerning hydraulic fractured drilling, or "fracking", on Texas businesses. It the resolution challenges those regulations and policies as being based upon limited and incorrect data.

       WHEREAS, The bureau's proposal is arbitrary and capricious in nature, as evidenced by the lack of justification and by erroneous cost estimates and clearly overstated and unfounded benefits; the states will suffer from this rule, both by increased costs to their citizens and by the loss of substantial royalty revenues from federal lands as exploration and production companies divert investment to state and private land in lieu of federal land;

The bill later resolves to compel the federal government to revise or withdraw their policies and regulations in regards to the State of Texas.

       RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 83rd Texas Legislature hereby declare that the Texas Railroad Commission is the appropriate authority to regulate all oil and gas exploration and production activities in the State of Texas and that a federal one-size-fits-all regulatory approach ignores the local and regional differences among oil and natural gas operations that make state regulations more adaptive and effective; and, be it further
       RESOLVED, That the Texas House of Representatives respectfully urge the United States Department of the Interior to withdraw the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's proposed rule to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal and tribal lands, and to defer to the states on how best to address any health, environmental, or safety issues arising from hydraulic fracturing and related operations on these lands;
The full text of the House Resolution is available at this link.

Fracking: From Movies To Policies

In the documentary FrackNation, film makers Anne MacElhinney and Phelm McAleer reveal the inconsistencies, fallacies, and misrepresentation of evidence presented in films such as Gaslight. BLM seems to use unproven and faulty data sets displayed in Gasland to found their regulations without doing the actual scientific research.

Anyone choosing a "side" on this issue needs to watch both films. From there, actually read the studies and scientific findings that support each side. Include all of the available data before taking a side. 

Fracking has been around for decades. It seemed the stuff of science fiction when Author Ayn Rand used it in her acclaimed novel Atlas Shrugged. The movie trilogy based upon the novel features fracking, as well. Both display the dangers of too much government regulation and intervention when the owner of a large oil field shuts down production, sets his wells on fire, and declares "I'm leaving it as I found it," and "retires".

Some proponents of fracking cite similar reasoning to those who support the construction and use of the Keystone Pipeline. Those proponents argue for increased prosperity and opportunities. They also claim the suppression of those opportunities may be in effort to suppress market competition to certain high-level political donors such as Warren Buffet. Warren Buffet owns a major petroleum portage railway.

As with all things, there are many sides and perspectives to any issue. However, as with every issue, the facts are the facts, and the data is the data. It must all be examined. Intentionally ignoring important data sets or portions of a data set in order to push an agenda should be avoided. When taken in aggregate, it appears, for the time being, that the vilification of "fracking" is a false accusation based upon obfuscation with the intent of impeding prosperity.