HICKORY CORNERS — Fracking has been used safely in Michigan for decades and should be seen as a key part of the state’s energy future.
The safety of the practice – as judged by the dearth of water quality issues springing up as a result of widespread hydraulic fracturing – had Gov. Rick Snyder pushing for fracking to help the state responsibly tap into its own energy resources.
Snyder praised fracking as being an innovative and safe technology in Michigan that’s resulted in the state tapping into some of its own natural gas reserves.
“(Fracking and horizontal drilling) have been used in Michigan for many decades,” he said. “None of the fracking that has been done in Michigan has resulted in a single water quality problem.”
Snyder added that the deeper wells resulting from fracking likely pose less risk to the state’s groundwater than the shallower wells “we’re all used to.”
With a strong regulated history of natural gas drilling coupled with the state’s comprehensive water withdrawal tool, Michigan is more “adaptable” and “better prepared” than most other states to address fracking activity, he said.
Trying to put the environmental impact of fracking to rest, Snyder announced the state is participating as member of a steering committee alongside several environmental and industry groups on a forthcoming study of fracking from the University of Michigan’s Graham Sustainability Institute.
“At the end of the process, the public will have a well-reasoned, objective explanation of what this process is and is not,” he said. “We will also have a Michigan-focused evaluation of the various implications of fracking.”