Shale Energy Facts

The debate over America's energy future is a hot topic across the United States. Shale energy continues to expand in the United States, producing massive jobs gains and substantial benefits to consumers while also cleaning the air and reducing our nation's greenhouse gas emissions

This success has frustrated anti-energy activists in Texas and elsewhere. These activists have responded with scare tactics and misleading campaigns to make it more difficult and costly for Americans to develop our shale energy resources. Unfortunately, these efforts to stigmatize shale energy production threaten our nation's economic vitality and energy security.

Thankfully, most members of the public are not swayed by mere scare tactics and want to understand the facts behind the issue. Despite the frequency of shale energy topics in recent news reports, many citizens are not aware of key facts about shale production. 
 
An explanation of two issues, in particular, is very useful to understanding why shale energy production has such a strong track record for safety and environmental protection. 
  
An interesting infographic on OilPro.com explains just what is being used in the hydraulic fracturing process. Approximately 99.5% of the hydraulic fracturing fluid consists of water and sand. The remaining half of a percent consists of various additives that are added to ensure an efficient and safe process. These include common ingredients of various consumer products such as salt, guar gum (found in toothpaste and ice cream), citric acid, as well as various soaps and water softeners. 
 
Also, the infographic speaks to another fact that may come as a surprise to those who have only been exposed to anti-shale rhetoric: the depth of groundwater resources as compared to shale energy reserves. Groundwater is typically found at a depth of 300-500 feet, while energy bearing shale rock is typically found at depths of 8,000-10,000 feet. According to OilPro, this distance means that it is "practically impossible for the fractures to reach close enough to the groundwater level for contamination to occur."

These are just a couple of examples of the facts that help put energy issues into perspective. For those would like to learn more about these issues, there is a wealth of information on various websites that are devoted to providing credible information on shale energy, notably the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council.

North Texans who are hearing the steady drumbeat of extreme anti-shale activists owe it to themselves to find out the facts on this clean and important American resource. 

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