Louisiana has become ground zero for environmental groups to wage war against a time-tested industry. In a time of blogs, social media and websites with no accreditation, if it is said on the “web,” then it must be true?
The environmental front is that squeaky wheel. They yell, literally the loudest, and get the media coverage they need. Facts do not seem to be a requirement for the media to run these groups’ information. All that has to be given is a claim of information, and the story runs with the caveat of using the word “allegedly.”
What seems to result from these squeaky environmental groups is an attempt to regulate. Regulations are not inherently evil and can truly start with the best of intentions. However, whether dealing with the Environmental Protection Agency or St. Tammany Parish, recognizing that fine gray line of overregulation tends to be difficult to recognize.
Often, overregulation occurs when humans base their decision making off of inaccurate information. Overregulation can also occur as a result of fear from a lack of information completely.
A fine example of attempted overregulation can be seen in St. Tammany Parish as green groups are protesting a potential drilling site. These groups are making claims that oil and gas operations, such as hydraulic fracturing, will contaminate the aquifer system in St. Tammany Parish. When facts are given to these groups or to the media, the facts appear to fall on deaf ears.
Here are a few facts that could prevent overregulation in this specific case: 1. Hydraulic fracturing has been taking place in the United States since 1947 without any contamination of aquifers; 2. Since 2008 in Louisiana, over 2,600 wells have been completed using the method of hydraulic fracturing without one single case of contamination; 3. Over one million wells have been completed using the method of hydraulic fracturing in the United States since 1990, again with zero governmentally confirmed contamination cases.
However, when factual information is laid out before the public, there is a clear disconnect from the truth. Long after the facts and historical data have been given, lawsuits are being filed to prevent drilling operations. Economic development is being stifled all due to misinformation and fear. Again, this is how overregulation creeps into our system of government.
If the local regulation talk is not enough, the same can be observed at the federal level. The EPA is regulating an entire industry solely based on the alleged concept of carbon pollution leading to global warming. The EPA is requiring thousands of companies across the United States to reduce their carbon pollution, costing the companies billions of dollars to comply. The entire basis of this regulation is based on a “thought” that carbon pollution causes global warming. Jobs will be cut and companies will close as a result of this stiff regulation. Again, this entire new regulation is based on a long-term fear and a lack of conclusive information.