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American shale gas booom

President Obama faces famous anti-fracking opponents

According to some, the shale gas bonanza in the US continues apace. On the other hand, there are voices casting doubt on its future. Controversy and strong emotions are also in evidence in relation to the fracking method of shale gas extraction. American President Barack Obama faces a growing number of anti-fracking opponents to his energy policy, including famous actors who have been recruited to the initiative “Artists against Fracking”. Here we provide an opposing overview of their arguments and the position adopted by Barack Obama with regard to shale gas extraction.

What Yoko Ono, Robert de Niro and Gwyneth Paltrow and other members from ‘Artists against Fracking’ say:

„I am concerned about the impact of fracking on our drinking water, air, climate and communities. I believe that fracking for shale gas is a danger to all New Yorkers. No amount of regulation can make fracking safe. Cement in the wells cracks and leaks under the high pressure at such great depths, releasing toxins into our drinking water and the powerful greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere. After Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene, we know all too well the dangers of climate change.

Please don’t frack New York. Instead, let’s make New York the Clean Energy State, leading the nation in energy saving measures and clean energy production. Not only would we lower costs and increase jobs, we would protect our health, our environment, and our future. I call on Governor Cuomo to ban fracking in New York.”

Source: Extract from the common call of the initiative: artistsagainstfracking.com/take-action/

What US-President Obama says:

"Now, even as we’re producing more domestic oil, we’re also producing more cleaner-burning natural gas than any other country on Earth. And, again, sometimes there are disputes about natural gas, but let me say this: We should strengthen our position as the top natural gas producer because, in the medium term at least, it not only can provide safe, cheap power, but it can also help reduce our carbon emissions.

Federally supported technology has helped our businesses drill more effectively and extract more gas. And now, we'll keep working with the industry to make drilling safer and cleaner, to make sure that we're not seeing methane emissions, and to put people to work modernizing our natural gas infrastructure so that we can power more homes and businesses with cleaner energy.

The bottom line is natural gas is creating jobs. It's lowering many families' heat and power bills. And it's the transition fuel that can power our economy with less carbon pollution even as our businesses work to develop and then deploy more of the technology required for the even cleaner energy economy of the future.”

Source: Remarks by the President on Climate Change, Georgetown University Washington, D.C., 25 June 2013

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