(Thomas Mitchell, 4TH ST8) – Ignorance is no excuse under the law, but apparently creating laws based on ignorance is quite all right.
As we recounted earlier, Democratic Assemblyman Justin Watkins is seeking a ban on fracking.
His Assembly Bill 159 would amend state law by adding: “A person shall not engage in hydraulic fracturing in this State. As used in this section, ‘hydraulic fracturing’ means the process of pumping fluid into or under the surface of the ground to create fractures in the rock to facilitate the production or recovery of oil or gas.”
Watkins is pressing forward with his ban. According to an article posted today at the Las Vegas Sun website:
But Watkins said the bill would prohibit only fracking, and that drilling could continue. Because the fracking industry is in such an early stage, he said the legislation would not cost a job. He also said when economic impact is so speculative, legislators should focus on the value of water in one of the country’s most arid states.
“Here, water is the most valuable resource we have,” Watkins said. “To put it into significant danger of contamination … as a trade-off for so little oil … doesn’t make any sense for us.”
The article was not worthy of being printed for the remaining thousands who get the morning newspaper with the Sun insert’s one local story a day.
The “fracking industry” has been around since the Civil War and hydraulic fracking has been used since the World War II, take it from someone who actually worked in the grease orchard.
More than half of all oil production in the U.S. in 2015, whether using horizontal drilling or not, came from fracked wells. Currently, 46 percent of all natural gas production in the country comes from shale, tight sandstone and coal formations that once were not profitable. Also, 90 percent of all natural gas wells drilled require fracking at some point during production.
And threats to groundwater are negligible, as the EPA found despite looking diligently and quibbling in its final report.
The Sun story quotes geologist Bill Ehni as saying, “If that bill were to pass, the oil industry would basically disappear in Nevada.”
Mr. Mitchell publishes the 4TH ST8 Blog.
Column originally published at 4TH ST8.