Energy independence: Public support is needed to meet future energy needs
Rapid oil and gas development in new areas of the country has bred mistrust and misunderstanding of many energy companies. Finding common ground and getting past hyperbole will be the key to future development, energy executives and environmentalists agree.
Videoview all videos
Oct 3Oct. 3, 2012: The Oklahoman's energy reporters lead a...
Sep 28Clytie Bunyan, business editor of The Oklahoman, provides...
Sep 28Steve Agee, dean of the Meinders school of business at...
Sep 28Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, talks about...
Photoview all 26 photos
NewsOK Related Articles
“There are a lot of folks in the middle who are in agreement that we need a better and more economic energy future for this country,” Whitsitt said last month. “Every now and then, they hear from those folks who don't want fossil fuels that the world is going to come to an end if we continue to produce.”
In the end, most consumers want affordable energy, Price said.
“I never, ever hear a suggestion of what a viable economic solution is if we're going to eliminate coal, oil and natural gas,” Price said.
Brownstein said communities where there is oil and gas development want more information about exactly what is going on in their backyards. Industry officials citing studies from other states isn't enough, he said.
“The only way you're going to convince the general public that this is in fact safe is if you're able to demonstrate with real numbers that this is safe,” Brownstein said.
Whitsitt said the industry and state regulators already do some air and water quality testing. More states are requiring disclosure of hydraulic fracturing fluids through the FracFocus.org website.
Meanwhile, operators have been able to use longer drilling laterals to develop larger areas from fewer well sites.
“We're talking about how do you manage risk and what is the risk of the emissions, versus what makes sense and what is economic to do,” Whitsitt said last week.
“We think we do a pretty good job; not that we can't always do better. … We've provided more and more data, and it still doesn't seem to be enough for people to be satisfied that we're not somehow causing harm.”
Brownstein said in other parts of the country there is a great degree of skepticism of both the industry and state regulators.
“Look, this is an industrial process,” Brownstein said. “There's no way around it. It's like any other homeowner if a factory were suddenly just set up next door, even temporarily; you'd have a lot of questions about what's going on over that fence line: ‘Is that process safe? Will my environment be safe once you're gone? Are there legacy issues there that I have to worry about?' These things are completely understandable. You don't have to be a rabid environmentalist to feel that.”
Business Photo Galleriesview all
Expanded Chesapeake coverage
Chesapeake coverage on NewsOK:
- 79875Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 16375OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant tours Moore, meets with residents
- 12357Oklahoma tornado: Names of dead released; missing individuals located
- 12103Oklahoma tornadoes: ‘All I could do was sit there and hold her'
- 12064Clippers' Donald Sterling hints coach let go to keep Chris Paul
- 10249Oklahoma tornadoes: Red Cross text donations not designated for Oklahoma
- 9002How to help tornado victims