The proof is in the pudding (an expression generally interpreted to mean, I'll believe it when I see it).
Due to the severe winter in 1977, the northeast experienced a gas shortage whereby some factories and schools were shut down to provide gas to individual homes. Because of the severe shortage of gas, the oil company that I was associated with decided to come to Washington County and drill seven test wells in 1978. Washington County has a long history of both oil and gas production since the turn-of-the-century, but development was restricted due to the fact that the gas utility (River Gas) had a closed loop system. During the summer months when gas was not needed, the utility required the local producers to shut-in their production and therefore only allowed to generate revenue from their investments two-thirds of the year. After the drilling of the seven wells, my company decided to construct a 22-mile gas line from the Waterford/Watertown/Adams townships to the Ohio River and connected to the Columbia Gas pipeline. Having successfully developed a market for our gas, we drilled over 150 Berea wells with each well being fracked, utilizing water, chemicals, and frack sand. In 1981, we also acquired approximately 26,000 acres of mineral rights in Newport, Lawrence, Liberty, Fearing, and Salem townships. In these townships we constructed a 26-mile pipeline to Columbia Gas. With these townships now opened up for gas sales to all producers in the year 1982, Washington County was the second-most drilled county in the U.S. with over 2,000 wells completed. Between the years 1979 and 1985, over 5,000 wells were drilled in Washington County. Every one of these wells was fracked. My company during these years, drilled, fracked, and completed approximately 150 Berea wells at approximately 1,700 feet deep, over 100 Gordon wells at approximately 2,500 feet deep, and approximately 100 wells in the Clinton/Medina at approximately 6,200 feet.
I have never heard or read of any Washington County water wells being reported to the EPA, The Ohio Division of Natural Resources, polluted by fracking. The EPA recently announced after a long and thorough review, that not one single water well, has been polluted by fracking.
There are people who believe there should be no development of any hydrocarbons (coal, oil, or natural gas) but instead, sole development and use of renewable resources. This is a very admirable view which we can all hope for. Unfortunately, it is not practical at the present time as renewable energy costs five to six times more than natural gas per BTU.
As I have stated, 30 years ago, over 5,000 wells were fracked in Washington County, exactly in the same manner that fracking is occurring today in the Marcellus, and Utica formations except that while we used a single stage frack they are using multiple stage ones. None of these 5,000 wells "resulted in leaving the community to clean up the resulting damage, and in many cases, unusable land." Having the luxury of looking back over 30 years at the oil boom which occurred in the early 1980s in Washington County, where are the ruined streams, polluted water wells and unusable land, that we are constantly being informed will occur if fracking is allowed to happen today. I believe, looking back that the 30 year time span demonstrates "the proof is in the pudding."