The war on fracking is heating up.
But the natural gas industry is about to open up the doors of its Enola Gay.
Here's what I mean...
Opponents of hydraulic fracturing say the process mixes dangerous chemicals with water that can contaminate local aquifers.
Despite the fact the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency just completed a test of 61 wells in northeastern Pennsylvania, where citizens have been complaining of contamination since 2009, and concluded the “sampling did not show levels of contaminants that would give EPA reason to take further action”...
The environmentalists' rhetoric is still heating up.
Small-town Paper, Small-town Mind
Take North Carolina, for instance.
The state currently has a ban on fracking that state legislators and the Democratic governor are trying to lift.
Gov. Beverly Perdue put forward a plan this week that would create a workgroup to evaluate and make regulatory recommendations.
She said, “If done safely, fracking can be part of a larger energy solution to create jobs and help lower energy costs.”
A similar plan is moving through the state houses to impose regulations by 2013 and lift the ban by 2014.
But Richard Freudenberger of Hendersonville, NC, isn't on board.
And he wrote a letter to the editor of the Raleigh News & Observer to make his opinion heard:
Anyone in North Carolina interested in the quality of our drinking water should be concerned over this development. Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling are controversial issues in places such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Oklahoma, where unexplained incidences of earthquakes and deteriorated drinking water quality have come on the heels of this new technology.
The fracking method uses water and a proprietary (read: secret) chemical cocktail to aid in fracturing subsurface rock formations, then disposes of the water through deep injection wells at high pressure.
This is a horrific waste of water and a real risk to our drinking water supply.
Water is the next oil, in terms of scarcity. Are we really willing to trade North Carolina’s clean water for cheap fuel?
He means the Pennsylvania where fracking is legal and booming, and where the EPA just ruled fracking doesn't contaminate ground water.
He means the Ohio where fracking will add 65,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment to the state's economy by 2014... where 64% of voters think the economic benefits outweigh the environmental concerns...
And where the Ohio House is about to approve rules Republican Governor John Kasich has put forward to responsibly grow the industry.
Ohio has 72 fracked wells right now.
The state's Natural Resources Department says there will be 2,250 by 2015.
About That Water Thing
As I've already told you, the EPA has evaluated homeowner water wells near fracking operations and determined that no chemical or pollutant occurred in a quantity worthy of further regulation or action.
But if that's not good enough for you, consider this...
Cleaning frackwater will nearly be a $9 billion business by 2020.
This is one of those cases where innovation will solve a potential problem.
There's already one company that has 13 patents for cleaning chemical-laced water that has been used for fracking.
It makes the water 100% reusable, so it doesn't have to be stored in a pond or trucked offsite. It also does it for half the price of its competitors.
It's profiled here along with other fracking investments.
And if that weren't enough to silence the water critics and line your pockets, there's another new development we're just starting to get wind of...
That's what I mean about the natural gas industry opening the doors of its Enola Gay.
Waterless fracking is the nuclear option.
Call it like you see it,
Nick is the Founder and President of the Outsider Club, and the Investment Director of the thousands-strong stock advisory, Early Advantage. Co-author of two best-selling investment books, including Energy Investing for Dummies, his insights have been shared on news programs and in magazines and newspapers around the world. For more on Nick, take a look at his editor's page.