Title

Impacts of Urban Growth and Energy Demand on Water

Presenter Information

Spencer Kajca
Landon Weigel

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Water, Pollution, Natural Gas

Abstract

Hydraulic fracturing in the United States has created a plentiful and inexpensive source of domestic energy. This new technology has brought economic opportunity and cheaper prices at the pump for every American. Unfortunately it does not come without cost. Fracking has created a series of environmental issues and potential public health concerns. The demand for new laws to offset these pollution externalities is growing every day. Cost benefit analysis has determined that waste water processes, exploration and emissions from production are negatively affecting our nation’s water supplies. Proper regulation and public disclosure has been a challenge since the 2005 “Halliburton loophole”, an energy policy bill which exempted hydraulic fracturing from many of the nation’s key environmental-protection laws. Under the new loophole, energy companies are able to skirt regulation from the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. Companies are also not required to tell the public the exact contents of the fracking fluids. Many of them are believed to be flammable and chemically similar to spray-paint. The US EPA estimates that there are 144,000 wells in the US receiving upwards of 2 billion gallons of waste water a day, 20 percent of which is related to natural gas operation. Our analysis will determine the effectiveness of current regulatory regimes in controlling the effects of hydraulic fracturing on local ground water quality, specifically the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Poster Number

12

Faculty Mentor(s)

WIrth, Rex

Additional Mentoring Department

Political Science

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May 15th, 11:30 AM May 15th, 2:00 PM

Impacts of Urban Growth and Energy Demand on Water

SURC Ballroom C/D

Hydraulic fracturing in the United States has created a plentiful and inexpensive source of domestic energy. This new technology has brought economic opportunity and cheaper prices at the pump for every American. Unfortunately it does not come without cost. Fracking has created a series of environmental issues and potential public health concerns. The demand for new laws to offset these pollution externalities is growing every day. Cost benefit analysis has determined that waste water processes, exploration and emissions from production are negatively affecting our nation’s water supplies. Proper regulation and public disclosure has been a challenge since the 2005 “Halliburton loophole”, an energy policy bill which exempted hydraulic fracturing from many of the nation’s key environmental-protection laws. Under the new loophole, energy companies are able to skirt regulation from the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. Companies are also not required to tell the public the exact contents of the fracking fluids. Many of them are believed to be flammable and chemically similar to spray-paint. The US EPA estimates that there are 144,000 wells in the US receiving upwards of 2 billion gallons of waste water a day, 20 percent of which is related to natural gas operation. Our analysis will determine the effectiveness of current regulatory regimes in controlling the effects of hydraulic fracturing on local ground water quality, specifically the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.