Hydraulic fracturing equipment is seen at a drilling site near Franktown in this 2011 file photo. (RJ Sangosti, Denver Post file)
Hydraulic fracturing equipment is seen at a drilling site near Franktown in this 2011 file photo. (RJ Sangosti, Denver Post file)
Re:"Will Colorado be fracking for China?," April 27 guest commentary.
The misinformation conveyed by anti-fracking activists has reached an alarming level, and the recent guest commentary by Laura Fronckiewicz of Our Broomfield and Sam Schabacker of Food & Water Watch was no exception.
Fracking does not endanger "residents' health, safety and property," as they claimed. I challenge them to submit one example.
The state of Colorado's lawsuit against Longmont for its ban against fracking is not an "effort in intimidation," as Fronckiewicz and Schabacker so rhetorically described it. Instead, the lawsuit simply upholds the state constitution and aims to protect individual mineral owners' property rights. Private ownership of mineral rights is unique to the United States, and the concept has contributed significantly to our country's march toward energy security.
The anti-fracking activists' claim that Sen. Mark Udall and Rep. Cory Gardner "are using the political crisis in Ukraine to steamroll through Congress a measure to allow the export of liquefied natural gas" is perhaps their tallest tale. More than 20 LNG export projects are still waiting for the U.S. Department of Energy to approve their license to export; most of those projects have been in the queue for three years. The clamor for LNG exports is not a recent event.
A more interesting lesson in timing is the Broomfield fracking ban, which became the anti-fracking crowd's Waterloo. They learned in difficult fashion that the composition of Broomfield voters better mirrored the state's electorate than that of Boulder, Louisville or Longmont. The close vote in Broomfield forced them to change their strategy — and now they have a newfound love for local rather than statewide control.
As the headline on Fronckiewicz and Schabacker's column suggests, anti-fracking activists are counting on the ignorance of voters and local-level politicians to allow the free-flowing distribution of hydraulic fracturing myths.
Putting this issue into perspective: If China and India had a free market and private ownership of minerals, they might not be so far behind the U.S. position of energy security.
John Harpole is founder and president of Littleton-based Mercator Energy, a natural gas services, brokerage and research company.