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Sue Hartman: Fracking for a prosperous California

Posted: January 10, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 10, 2014 2:00 a.m.

There are two things all Californians can agree on regardless of age, race, gender, religion or political persuasion – job growth and a healthy environment. Fortunately, we are blessed with a single answer to both problems right under our collective noses, or rather feet. The solution to both problems is hydraulic fracturing aka; Fracking.

Fracking has been proven many times to be safe and far, far healthier than “alternative energy”.

Those that oppose fracking tend to support the more expensive, dangerous energy sources like; solar panels, wind turbines and the trans-oceanic transport of oil from foreign sources. Solar panels and wind turbines are manufactured with one crucial ingredient – rare earth minerals. The mining for these minerals has caused long lasting environmental devastation in China not to mention increased cancer rates in children living nearby. Wind turbines cause over 1.2 million bird and bat deaths every year, including the Bald Eagle and other rare species, frequently break down and are quickly filling up space in landfills. Scotland is now cutting down millions of trees to make room for more turbines. I don’t need to spell out the irony, do I? Buying and transporting oil from foreign sources means drilling in countries that don’t care about human rights and much less about environmental impact.

Doesn’t it make far more sense to use oil and gas drilled here in the U.S. where environmentalists are listened to and protected under the law?

Two more reasons often cited for banning oil and gas are; global warming and ‘peak oil’. Both of these have become non-issues as there has been no warming and no proof of human caused warming for 17 years now.

Which is too bad because a warmer earth is healthier for all living species than a colder earth. Also, every year brings new discoveries of bigger than ever predicted oil and gas fields under our own American feet.

Many protest fracking due to water concerns here in California, however, fracking uses very little freshwater and new technologies allow companies to recycle the same brackish water over and over with a resulting water cleaner than EPA standards require. “Rather than taking water out of the hydrologic cycle, the oil-and-gas industry is actually often taking formerly unusable water, using it in fracking and then cleaning it up to a level where it can be introduced into the cycle as either irrigation or drinking water,” according to Marita Noon, author of “Energy Freedom.”

We must be wise and not fools. Europe is paying the price through the deaths of thousands of elderly every winter for turning their backs on affordable gas and oil. Meanwhile, Russia is all too happy to swoop in and take from the massive reserves what the Europeans are too foolish to take for themselves.

In North Dakota, the economy is booming with an unemployment rate of 2.7% with high wages thanks to fracking.

California’s rate is 8.7% and closer to 13-24% for teenagers. Americans don’t want more government handouts, what they want is a job and affordable prices on energy and goods.

Which political party ‘cares’ more for the poor? Democrats consistently propose higher taxes and increased welfare spending with no accountability as the only way to help the poor. In stark contrast, Republicans believe the best government policies lift the poor out of poverty through affordable energy and job opportunities. High energy prices means higher prices for essential goods for consumers and high energy prices means less disposable spending for families on an already tight budget.

While some praise high energy prices as a way to control how other people behave, the majority of people are smart and sensible and understand the way to prosperity is through good legislation that allows for using our resources not foolishly banning them.

We have a golden opportunity to stand up for prosperity, job growth and a cleaner environment. The California Department of Conservation is taking comments on the proposed regulations for the use of well stimulation in oil and gas production (SB4) by email to; via FAX to (916) 324-0948; or via regular mail to the Department of Conservation Office of Governmental and Environmental Relations, 801 K Street MS 24-02, 95814, Attention: Well Stimulation Regulations. Let the DOC know what affordable energy and consequent job opportunities means to you and your family.

Sue Hartman is a local Republican and political activist.



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