Editorial: Who's ignoring science?


All too often, climate change alarmists are fond of declaring that “the science is settled” when discussing the negative effects of mankind’s use of fossil fuels. In order to make sure that virtually all of our energy resources remain in the ground rather than be tapped to raise our standard of living, environmental activists have created a new bogeyman: fracking.

Fracking utilizes high-pressured fluids, which are pumped into wells to break up rock formations and loosen oil and gas deposits. The process has allowed us to make use of natural resources that were once believed to be inaccessible. It has also made the United States a global energy powerhouse and saved consumers a fortune by creating a stable, predictable domestic supply.

Radical greens, however, warn that fracking threatens our water through leaks, spills, well failures and underground seepage of fracking fluid.

But a new report backs up the findings of previous reports, which concluded that the process poses no discernible risk to the environment. A joint environmental assessment by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement — not exactly right-wing organizations or energy industry mouthpieces — found that fracking off the coast of California has no significant impact on the environment.

The findings, which mirror previous studies on fracking by Yale University, the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy, led California regulators to lift a moratorium on the process that they put in place earlier this year. “The comprehensive analysis shows that these practices, conducted according to permit requirements, have minimal impact,” Abigail Ross Hopper, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said in a statement.

Undaunted by the findings, the lawsuit-happy green activists at the Center for Biological Diversity hinted at more legal action. “Offshore fracking is just an incredibly dangerous activity and we certainly wish the federal government was taking stronger actions to protect our oceans and our coast,” said Miyoko Sakashita, director of the center’s oceans program.

In fact, Ms. Sakashita and her friends at the Center for Biological Diversity oppose virtually all development, let alone efforts to extract more oil and natural gas from the ground.

But let’s see if we have this straight. Greens constantly lampoon as “deniers,” flat-Earthers or hostile toward science those who oppose dismantling the nation’s economy in response to the Earth’s temperature variations. But when studies conclude that fracking poses minimal risks to our ecosystems, environmental activists ignore the science and plow forward with lawsuits and scare campaigns.

How very ironic.