First, let's present the position most repeated in the media:
ReasonTV's science correspond Ron Bailey:
"Fracking has been around for 60 years."
If we look into the background and qualifications of Ron Bailey,
according to Wikipedia, he is a "libertarian" science journalist, and author,
and editor. Oh, also spotted this in the Wikipedia entry:
The Greenpeace project, "exxonsecrets.org" identifies the Reason Foundation, the CEI (where Bailey is an adjunct fellow) and the Cato Institute (where he is an adjunct scholar) as receiving funding from the U.S. Petroleum industry.So Ron Baily is not an engineer, but he is funded by the big O+G.
OK, Got it. Next up is Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, who helped invent the process:
"They've been fracking for 60 years... So what?
That's just one part of the process. What's really new here?
How old is this technology? It's 5 YEARS OLD."
- First well was drilled in the Barnett Shale in 1991.
- Slick water: 1996
- Multi stage slick water: 2002
- Clustered well pads: 2007.
Woah! From 60 years old to 5 years old. That's a big difference.
In case you want more details, check out Dr. Ingraffea's complete presentation,
the keynote at Marcellus Shale Exposed.
So who's right?
In case you doubt Dr. Ingraffea's presentation, here's another industry spokesman,
this one from Encana:
Mark Taylor, team lead for Encana (Horn River Development):
"We never knew how to get gas out of shale
until about 10 years ago".
So I don't know about you, but I'm going with the experts