Oil Fracking Debate in Nevada - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Oil Fracking Debate in Nevada

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The debate is heating up over whether oil fracking is safe in Nevada. Several meetings have been held in the past few weeks to educate people about it.

Fracking is a technique where a specially-blended liquid is pumped into a well thousands of feet below the earth's surface, causing cracks in rock formations under extreme pressure.

Those cracks then allow the oil and natural gas to flow up, increasing oil production. Environmentalists say it's bad for the ground water supply. "I think it's extremely dangerous," said Dawn Harris, founder of Frack Free Nevada. "There were cases of people's tap water being lit on fire and that was very alarming."

Harris says she wants to spread awareness about hydraulic fracturing. "I want them to find out what's valid. What the truth is. There's a lot of conflicting information out there," said Harris.

Noble Energy is the first oil company to start fracking in Nevada. Last week they did their first drill in Elko County. Richard Perry with the Nevada Division of Minerals was there to monitor the fracking.

"Our job is to make sure regulations are in place and that when the hole is being drilled the proper casing and the proper cement, the quality control goes into it," said Perry.

In a statement, Noble Energy said: "Noble Energy is committed to protection of human health and the environment. We firmly believe that - with good regulation - we can have the energy we need, the economy we want and the environment we deserve. It is clear that the Commission, NDOM, and NDEP worked collaboratively with all stakeholders – including the oil and natural gas industry and environmental groups – to develop regulations that protect human health and the environment – especially groundwater – while allowing safe and responsible oil and natural gas exploration and development."

The Nevada Division of Minerals has been holding meetings about strengthening fracking regulations in the Silver State to comply with legislation passed last year. They include water sampling of any well within a mile of an oil well before and after hydraulic a fracturing event.

Harris says more still needs to be done regulate fracking. In an effort to spread the word about it, she's hosting several workshops next month at the University of Nevada. "There's going to be a fracking debate and a Shale and Wall Street, two videos, and we're going to have a Q & A," said Harris.

Here's a list of fracking meetings coming up:

Video Presentations, Fracking Debate and Shale and Wall Street - Saturday, April 5th from 12:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Knowledge Center, Wells Fargo Auditorium at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Fracking and Earthquakes & Environmental Impacts Debate - Wednesday, April 16th from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Knowledge Center Rotunda at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Fracking, Ethics & Social Justice - Wednesday, April 30th from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Knowledge Center Rotunda at the University of Nevada, Reno.

To see the proposed regulations on fracking click here: http://minerals.state.nv.us/

 Written by Chloe Beardsley


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