UPDATE: Here's a little explanation of fracking: Gasland The Movie.
Statements that start with "with all due respect" never end well and are almost never respectful. The dust up (Clearly New Mexico) in the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee Monday began with such a phrase from Representative Bratton. It corresponded with, and could have been triggered by, a question from Representative Al Park about fracking.
It was unclear why Park (doing his Unfrozen "I'm just a caveman" Lawyer) asked the question since the second speaker had already clearly summarized the what and whys of reaching "unconventional" resources.
I sensed the Republican committee members just didn't want to hear about fracking or anything else from those witnesses, like the 27 state tax incentives in place for the industry or the impact of global production on rig counts in New Mexico. They contemptuously left the room and later dismissed the entire presentation as propaganda. Most lobbyists left too.
It could have been coincidence but on the same day as the hearing, Jan 31, the news came out about diesel fuel use in fracking fluid. (Secret formula my ass.)
Oil and gas service companies injected tens of millions of gallons of diesel fuel into onshore wells in more than a dozen states from 2005 to 2009, Congressional investigators have charged. Those injections appear to have violated the Safe Water Drinking Act, the investigators said in a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday. (NYT's)
Representatives of the natural gas industry have said no worries:
Today, diesel fuel is simply not used in fracturing operations,” the industry stated unequivocally. “Except in the trucks, of course – they still need diesel to run.
But that’s not what was reported to Congressional investigators. In a letter sent on Monday to the Environmental Protection Agency, the legislators said that the companies they queried reported using 32.2 million gallons of diesel fuel, or fluids containing diesel, between 2005 and 2009. Each case, the letter stated, appeared to be a violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act. (NYT's)
The industry representatives and their many friends in the New Mexico Legislature don't feel any need to justify themselves, I sense. They're on top. They're the producers. Republican Energy Committee members stressed their connections to the industry Monday and demonstrated that they think they know it all.