Just Plain Right / Opinion

Fracking Our Way to a Better Tomorrow

On Feb. 1, 2014, California Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly addressed policies regarding fracking, among other things, in a speech at the UCSB Loma Pelona Center. And, after listening to Donnelly speak, it is hard to not be pro-fracking.

Fracking, also referred to as hydraulic fracturing, is a specific process used to extract natural gas. Although environmentally controversial in its usage, the benefits that fracking presents are sensational. Things like energy independence, economic benefits and a decline in greenhouse gas emissions are just some of the perks.

Donnelly explained these economic issues in a way that gave the audience an idea of the great opportunities our golden state is missing out on. Employing a greater usage of fracking is so important for us because it would not only increase the employment rate, boost the economy and allow states to be less reliant on the Middle East for oil, but it would actually reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere by replacing coal with cleaner-burning gas. Like I said, after listening to Donnelly speak, it is hard to not be pro-fracking.

Of course, there are always going to be individuals who disapprove of fracking. Critics latch onto the idea that fracking can contaminate our water supply, cause earthquakes and even cause global warming. However, as Donnelly said, “The problem is what you are dealing with are myths when it comes to fracking. And there are a lot of groups that are propagating and spreading myths.”

These myths often reiterate the dangers of fracking affecting the water table, but Donnelly also explained that the process of fracking in California is actually highly unlikely to contaminate our water, for a number of reasons.

“First you have to start with where the water table is. The water table is about 500 feet below the surface and most of the fracking that we do right now in California is a mile and a half down,” Donnelly said. “So the only point at which there is any intersection is at the well casing which goes through the water table. And so far, in 60 years of fracking in California, not one single well casing has cracked.”

Are environmental organizations attacking fracking for the wrong reasons?

Many environmentalists attack pro-fracking individuals, yet Assemblymen like Donnelly are, in fact, also focused on the environmental benefits of fracking. With California more reliant on natural gas, Californians can stray away from less efficient alternatives, thus reducing their carbon footprints and improving the environment. Donnelly drove his point home by explaining how there must be a balance between protecting the environment and taking advantage of the enormous economic opportunity that fracking presents to Californians.

Instead of banning fracking altogether or allowing companies to extract natural gas freely, the government should regulate the process of fracking across the nation. With the economic prosperity and other positives that come from fracking, there’s no reason that regulations cannot be implemented so chemicals used are not worrisome to environmentalists. A balance must be found, because the economic benefits of fracking simply cannot be ignored in favor of the environmental benefits.

Many suggest we should not frack up the environment. I say we should not frack up this economic opportunity.

Austin Yack loves to frack.

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, February 20, 2014 print edition of the Daily Nexus.
Views expressed on the Opinion page do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Nexus or UCSB. Opinions are primarily submitted by students.
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12 Comments

  1. I hope the Nexus editors realized the irony in printing this opinion piece in the very same issue as the piece on methane emissions:
    http://dailynexus.com/2014-02-20/insane-in-the-methane-potent-presence-in-air/
    I’m sure it made others, like myself, wonder whether I was reading the satire section.

  2. I am really sorry about the strident nature of my reply. I am having a very bad week (as you may know from class) and am touchier than usual (which is pretty touchy). I apologize for the nasty tone of the response. It is bad form on my part, and I won’t tolerate poor thinking from me any more than perceived logic error from others.

    I am a jerk and your gracious response makes that sadly clear to me. You have taught me a lesson.

    stan k

  3. Dr. Stan Klein,

    I have you for a class and have to admit I admire your intellectual abilities. You sir are a legend.

  4. “I think that you are absolutely wrong. Fracking is a much better alternative to fossil fuels because fracking has not been widely adopted by everyone. By 2050 it is estimated that fossil fuels will be depleted and then what will your tree hugging ass do then? Huh? are you going to dare frack up alaska or are you going to pay 50 bucks a gallon for gas? Thats right frack you nitrogen.”

    this is sad. comments of this nature from (I assume) UCSB students do not reflect well on the logical abilities are our supposed elite student body. Setting up straw men and shooting them down is poor rationality. Specifically, you create a false dichotomy — either fracking of drilling — and then respond to the limited options you stipulate. Sad, Very sad. I expect better from a UCSB student. I don’t care about the side you take — but I do care about the form of the so-called argument.

  5. LeftWingWoman says:

    I agree with the author only because we have fracked on many occassions and they have been the most pleasureable experiences of my life.

  6. Renewable energy jobs are much, much, much more profitable than fracking. This is awful journalism and this reporter should be fired for spreading industry propaganda. The industry doesn’t want to shift from coal/oil to gas. The industry wants to extract ALL fossil fuels possible. It’s a business model. This is ridiculous.

    • I think that you are absolutely wrong. Fracking is a much better alternative to fossil fuels because fracking has not been widely adopted by everyone. By 2050 it is estimated that fossil fuels will be depleted and then what will your tree hugging ass do then? Huh? are you going to dare frack up alaska or are you going to pay 50 bucks a gallon for gas? Thats right frack you nitrogen.

      • Also you say he should be fired. That is extremely insensitive because he shed light to the other side which you clearly disagree with. Let me guess, you pledged CALPIRG?

    • The reporter is not trying to spread propaganda, he has done his research and is merely stating his opinion on this. I know this because of the conversations we have after sleeping together and he is great in bed. I’d frack with Austin any day.

    • Daniel Slovinsky says:

      Hi Max,
      This article ran in last Thursday’s opinion section as part of a new conservative column called “Just Plain Right.” As you probably know, opinion articles do not reflect the opinions of The Daily Nexus, but moreover, Austin is not a reporter, nor is his piece meant to be interpreted as news. If you believe this article is misleading or disagree with its conclusion, you can submit your own counterpoint as a letter to the editor here: opinion@dailynexus.com. Thanks for your input.

  7. I do not know the technical details to any serious degree. That is an important constraint on my observation — which is “In my 60 years of experience I have seldom seen politicians or businesses (who increasingly appear conjoined) show any serious or honest concern for the environmental consequences of policies that provide them with financial benefits. Perhaps fracking is the exception? I am sketical, to say the least.”

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