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Some say industry arrogance fueled fracking anger

July 28, 2013 • Business


FILE- In this Aug. 22, 2006, file photo, then-Shell Oil Co. president John Hofmeister addresses a conference to discuss the protection of and potential threats to national and global critical infrastructures in Washington. In a recent interview with AP, Hofmeister says oil and gas companies often do a terrible job at communicating. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The boom in oil and gas fracking has led to jobs, billions in royalties and profits, and even some environmental gains.

But some experts say arrogance, a lack of transparency and poor communication on the part of the drilling industry have helped fuel public anger over the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

“It’s a big issue for the industry. I have called for greater transparency. That is the only way to have an honest conversation with the public,” said John Hofmeister, a former Shell Oil Co. president and author of “Why We Hate Oil Companies.”

As an example, Hofmeister said, some industry leaders have suggested that the fracking boom has never caused water pollution. But while the vast majority of wells don’t cause problems, “everybody knows that some wells go bad,” Hofmeister said.

Over the last five years, advances in technology have led to a surge of drilling in states such as Pennsylvania, Colorado, Arkansas and North Dakota. Previously inaccessible deposits of shale oil and gas have been unlocked by fracking, a process in which large Login to read more

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