The problem with any half ass admission like this is that it leaves open the precuationary principle–as the EPA says–we must be ever on the alert. Remember the rule of practical politics–keep the populace alarmed so they will be clamorous to be led to safety (Mencken).
Most people are so damn ignorant. Fracking (injecting fluid at high pressure to crack up the rock formation), is a technique that’s 50 plus years old, the only new development is the horizontal drilling that is much newer–and it takes place thousands of feet down, with casing sealing the drill pipe.
Horizontal directional drilling is a wonderful development that reduces the number of holes, reducing impact on the surface. A single drill site can produce multi directional drilling at the depth of the formation–cool and enviro friendly.
A drill pipe leak is the bane of a drilling rig operation–they work hard to seal the system so it will work right. The result is systems that prevent any contamination of the water table for drinking water, which is at a much more shallow level. Deep water tables are not what we use for drinking water. The Ogallala Aquifer goes down as much as 1000 feet in the southern reaches, but drilling for oil and gas takes place at much lower levels–5000 feet and more. Besides the drill pipe is sealed–SEALED–GET IT?
Methane pockets exist, and contaminate water tables, but that’s not because of drilling, it’s natural.
The idea that injection at 5000 plus feet will move the mantle of the earth and cause earthquakes is pretty lame, but it is scary, so now the enviros have spread out the siesmographic net to pick up every tremor so they can claim a CRISIS, EPIDEMIC of EARTHQAUKES and get all the women with matching tee-shirts out marching and giving speeches to city council members who have their wet finger in the wind.
That’s one reason local bans have to be stopped by panicky local political hacks.