For more than 70 years, Colorado has been one of the largest natural gas producers in the U.S. and a global leader in energy development, thanks to hydraulic fracturing. And, because of recent breakthroughs in fracking technology, multiple studies have shown Colorado’s oil and natural gas industry is continuing to shape the future of responsible energy development:
- A study from the Duke Nicholas School of the Environment concluded that more than 90% of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing sites is safe and “the probability of having environmental impacts…is low.” Additionally, Avner Vengosh, Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Duke, said with proper treatment, fracking fluids could be, “re-used for agricultural irrigation…especially in areas where freshwater is scarce and drought is persistent.”
- A two-year analysis released from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality shows fracking doesn’t contaminate water. According to the released Pavillion, Wyoming Area Domestic Water Wells Final Report and Palatability Study, “it is unlikely that hydraulic fracturing has caused any impacts to the water-supply wells.”
- In 2016, researchers from the Cawelo Water District in Bakersfield, California showed that treated water used in hydraulic fracturing is safe for agricultural use. The study found no significant difference between crops irrigated with recycled water extracted during the oil production process and those irrigated from other sources.
Colorado’s natural environment is central to our state’s pioneer identity and our energy economy. Our state has more than 23 million acres of public land, and thanks to the strong regulations we have in place, Coloradans can enjoy the great outdoors while also producing the energy we depend on.
As Coloradans, these studies show we should be proud of the role our oil and natural gas industry plays in creating jobs, supporting economic growth, and advancing America’s long-term energy independence—all while protecting our environment and wilderness.