It's all about not standing in the way of cheap energy, economic growth, jobs and energy security, according to more than 100 groups representing U.S. industry, from North Dakota grain growers to Dow Chemical to the Ohio Bowling Association, that petitioned Tuesday to keep the federal government from erecting barriers to hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
Noting the "huge potential" of shale oil and natural gas to expand business development and strengthen the nation's economic recovery, the letter from industry to President Obama warned that "without hydraulic fracturing, that potential will not be realized, and we will not enjoy the tremendous economic and job-creation benefits" of cheap and abundant natural gas.
State governments, the on-the-ground regulators of oil and gas drilling, are working with industry to ensure that adequate environmental and safety measures are employed, the letter said.
It pointed to studies by both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Ground Water Protection Council as attesting to the safety of the hydraulic fracturing process, noting that the Department of Energy's Shale Gas Production Subcommittee recently said in its initial 90-day report it "shares the prevailing view that the risk of fracturing fluid leakage into drinking water sources through fractures made in deep shale reservoirs is remote."
The 119 organizations, companies, local governments and labor unions signing on to the petition include all of the usual oil and gas groups and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.