Having spent time on a hydraulic fracturing job site in Weld County, I can say that it is a completely underwhelming experience — just the way I want it.
Hydraulic fracturing allows natural gas producers to recover natural gas from deep deposits. Frac’ing is both safe and cost effective. The fluid used is 99 percent water and sand. Still, Congresswoman Diana DeGette and Congressman Jared Polis both want more federal regulation but aren’t likely to get it. According to the Durango Herald, this current Congress won’t have time to consider their bill and the next Congress isn’t likely to do so either.
The Department of Interior, headed up by former Colorado Senator Ken Salazar, may consider its own regulations, but that would apply only to drilling on federal lands.
While on the Weld County frac site, I asked whether or not Colorado’s congressional delegation had been invited to visit a job site and witness the process. My host from Anadarko said they had invited both Polis and DeGette. At that time neither had accepted the invitation but had already introduced legislation to regulate a process they had never witnessed.
For more information on hydraulic fracturing, read geologist Isaac Smith’s take that appeared in the Denver Post last December.