July 27, 2012

No fracking guarantees?


Mistakes will happen. Or **it will happen.
Our largest companies remind us every day. The recent review of the Fukushima nuclear energy plant stated that it "could and should have been foreseen and prevented." The BP spill in the Gulf was also the result of shoddy oversight and lax regulation. Recalls of food and cars and toys occur every day.
And now Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. has become the first major insurance company to say it won't cover damage related to fracking--hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.
There are rich shale deposits with natural gas and oil in parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, West Virginia and elsewhere. But drinking water is not so far from those shale deposits.The Pennsylvania town Dimock has been in the news for its water contamination problems, even though the EPA could find nothing wrong. So Nationwide said risks involved in fracking operations "are too great to ignore" both to landowners who lease land for shale gas drilling and contractors involved in fracking operations.
The gas industry's response was, "It is hard to fathom the rationale for this decision. It would seem Nationwide is not on job creation's side."
If only they could see that regulation and oversight can create jobs too.