Advocate editorial board opinion: Eagle Ford Shale can be drilled safely for environment

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Dec. 19, 2011 at 6:19 a.m.
Updated Dec. 20, 2011 at 6:20 a.m.

Where there is a will, there is a way. And we think drilling the Eagle Ford Shale formation is possible. But we also think we should do it right.

The economic benefit from drilling the Eagle Ford Shale is a fact.

You can see it with the increased activity in trucking, the increased creation of jobs and businesses in the region.

We're proud of our state being the first to pass a law forcing the disclosure of the chemicals used in wells. In February, the Texas Railroad Commission will implement the new rules and disclosure requirements.

And many states are following suit, such as Colorado, New York and Wyoming, to name a few.

We don't see these new rules set by the railroad commission as a means to stop fracking, the process using chemicals to fracture the thick impermeable shale formation, allowing the hydrocarbons trapped inside to bubble up through the pipes.

We do see a cautious approach to extract the oil and gas these formations hold. Drilling can be done in a way to protect water supplies and groundwater - a most precious resource for farming and ranching and for us to drink.

In other words, we have to be reasonable and safe where our water is concerned.

In the meantime, we think there are plenty of oil and gas businesses operating with the intent to be safe. Exceptions are always present, hence the needed rules to protect our water.

All in all, we think drilling the Eagle Ford Shale can be done with our environment in mind.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

Corrected Dec. 20, 2011.

EDIT: The Texas Railroad Commission is in charge of chemical disclosure rules for hydraulic fracturing. The wrong agency was used as a source in a story on Page H5 on Sunday and in an editorial on Page B3 on Tuesday.



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