Initiative touts benefits of energy development

A newly formed organization has launched an educational initiative offering information about what the group touts as the benefits of energy development, including hydraulic fracturing.

“Our core mission is to get Coloradans the facts and let them make an educated decision,” said Jon Haubert, communications director for Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED).

The Denver-based nonprofit organization is funded by Anadarko Petroleum and Noble Energy, two independent oil and natural gas development companies. The group has begun broadcasting radio advertisements encouraging listeners to learn more about hydraulic fracturing — a process sometimes called fracking.

“Even though we’ve been fracking since 1947 and more than 90 percent of today’s oil and natural gas wells are fracked at some point during their lifespan, most residents admit to not knowing or understanding what it involves,” Haubert said. “Yet, a startling number of Coloradans have seen, read or heard something — overwhelming false and negative — about fracking.”

Fracking is a process in which a mixture of water, sand and chemicals is pumped into wells to create small fractures in underground rock formations and increase the production of oil or natural gas in those formations. The process has enabled energy companies to extract oil and gas from such so-called “tight” formations as shale. The combination of fracking and such  technological advances as horizontal drilling has substantially increased oil and natural gas production in the United States.

“While fracking may be a noncontroversial technique in the energy industry, it has become a target, often intentionally misused, misrepresented and unfortunately substituted as a four-letter word by some,” Haubert said.

Increased energy development made by possible by fracking has become an important economic driver as well as an important source of revenue for state and local governments, Haubert said.

According to the results of a study conducted by the Business Research Division of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, the oil and natural gas industry contributed $29.6 billion to the Colorado economy in 2012, supporting more than 110,000 jobs and generating $1.6 billion in tax revenues.


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