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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

SBE Council Chief Economist Files EPA Comments on Hydraulic Fracturing

On September 28, Raymond J. Keating, chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), filed comments with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the safety and economics of hydraulic fracturing.

In June, the EPA announced it would be holding four public information meetings for the hydraulic fracturing study, and that comments could be filed through September 28, 2010.

Keating wrote: "As you know, hydraulic fracturing releases these energy resources from underground shale formations through fissures created deep below the surface using water pressure. Based on history and a variety of analyses, this technique is both safe and effective."

Keating also noted the economic importance of not erecting unwarranted restrictions on this process. He cited various studies and reports, including: "A recent study from Natural Resources Economics, Inc. found that, over the next decade, nearly 300,000 jobs could be created and $6 billion in new tax revenues to local, state and federal governments by developing oil and natural gas resources in the Marcellus Formation. The broader impact on the economy could be much greater, as much as $25 billion in value added."

In conclusion, Keating observed: "Fracking is providing more natural gas at more affordable rates, which helps keep families and workplaces warm during the winter. Natural gas is one of the preferred sources of energy for heating-as well as one of the cleanest and cheapest. It would be misguided to cut off this source of production, hurting small businesses and families in terms of their utility bills."

Keating's full comments can be read here.

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