Texas Lawmaker Talks Fracking During Nuke Hearing

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

House lawmakers grilled the nation's two top officials on nuclear safety โ€” Dr. Stephen Chu of the Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko โ€” about the ongoing crisis in Japan and security at U.S. nuclear plants.

But Chu was also drawn into an exchange with Texas Congressman Michael Burgess on a different energy topic: natural gas.

Burgess' district lies atop the natural gas-rich Barnett Shale, and Burgess is a supporter of the controversial extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," which has also been proposed in parts of upstate New York.

When asked whether fracking can be done safely, Chu starts to give a "Yes, but..." answer.

The exchange is well worth a listen, especially toward the end, when Burgess seems to offer Chu a kind of compromise: robust government oversight of drilling, to reassure the public that their groundwater is not in danger.

The Department of Energy has no direct role regulating natural gas drilling, but it does fund research and development, including initiatives to protect groundwater and assess risk.


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Comments [2]


This is a new form of warfare. Far more legal than flyiing planes into buildings, just poison the water of the continent. Who owns dick cheney.

Dec. 03 2011 08:16 PM
fran webb

WHY does the government "have no direct role regulating natural gas drilling" when these actions are obviously affecting all of this nation's future, not just the states where the corporations and the T. Boone Pickens of the country have altered the regulatory laws to allow the events seen in the documentary GASLAND. Where do these people propose all of their children and grandchildren live when we have destroyed the earth!!!! Is there no common sense reason that those with such wealth can find to place all their energies and money into genuinely clean, green endeavors like wind and solar power!!The World is watching and so are their children!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mar. 17 2011 10:36 AM

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