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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Image courtesy of DonaldJTrump.com.

Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm said Wednesday that presidential candidate Donald Trump did not fully understand questions posed earlier this month about local fracking bans.

The famed oil executive told the Wall Street Journal that Trump “did not understand” questions about local fracking bans that were asked by a Colorado reporter.

During an interview with Colorado’s 9NEWS Trump said that “voters should have a big say” as to whether local bans on hydraulic fracturing should be imposed.

“Some areas maybe they don’t want to have fracking. And I think if the voters are voting for it, that’s up to them.” Trump said.

When asked by 9NEWS if voters should be able to ban fracking Trump responded that, while he would need more details, “it could very well be” that voters should be allowed institute bans.

“Fracking is something that’s here whether we like it or not, but if a municipality or a state wants to ban fracking, I can understand that,” Trump added during the interview.

Hamm, who is advising Trump on energy matters, told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that the Republican candidate “did not understand that concept at the time in my opinion.”

Hamm told the paper that he believes Trump now understands the issue and that the candidate does not support local fracking bans or moratorium.

Trump has not commented on Hamm’s remarks.

Earlier this year, Colorado’s Supreme Court struck down two local government bans on hydraulic fracturing.

Voters in Colorado could have a chance to vote on statewide fracking restrictions this November.

Colorado’s Secretary of State is expected to decide as soon as this week if two initiatives to curb fracking in the state could land on the ballot, the Wall Street Journal said.

According to Reuters, one of the ballot initiatives calls for oil and gas development facilities to be at least 2,500 feet from occupied structures and other areas such as parks.

The other initiative would grant local governments regulatory authority over new oil and gas developments.

Petitions to include the initiatives on November’s ballot received the required number of signatures and were submitted to Colorado’s Secretary of State on Monday.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Asking a specific question about local issues of a national candidate then speaking out publicly on the level of understanding only serves to disparage the candidate. Most candidates will respond with a conceptual position. In this case seems it was about local decision making.
    For those concerned the next President will facilitate large scale fracking one only need compare the two candidates to conclude which one is more likely.

  2. USEPA’s Environmental
    Evaluation of Hydraulic Fracturing

    On March 24, 2013 the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]
    Science Advisory Board has now announced the creation of a 31-member panel that
    will peer review the draft report of results due out in late 2014. Leading up
    to the peer review, the SAB Panel will provide scientific feedback on EPA’s
    research in an open and transparent manner.

    On 6/4/15 the Environmental
    Protection Agency (EPA) released its “Draft Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic
    Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources” for public comment and peer review, along
    with nine final peer-reviewed “EPA
    technical reports” completed
    as part of the study. While the study found that certain mechanisms in the
    fracking process—from water acquisition to injection of wastewater—have had
    impacts on drinking water, the report notes the number of reported cases is low
    compared to the amount of operating wells. The message provided fodder to
    industry officials who for years have contended the practice is safe, but also
    to environmentalists who show that breaks in the process can lead to
    contamination

    For the study, mandated by
    Congress, the EPA analyzed more than 950 sources of information, including
    previously published papers, state reports and the agency’s own scientific
    research, but found no clear evidence that the fracking process itself could cause
    chemicals to flow through underground fissures and contaminate drinking water.
    When the agency took a broader look at the entire water cycle around fracking —
    from getting water supplies to disposing of fluid waste — it documented
    instances where failed wells and above-ground spills may have affected drinking
    water resources.

    Members
    of the EPA Science Advisory Board [SAB], which reviews major studies by
    the agency, says the main conclusion — that there’s no evidence fracking has
    led to “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water” — requires
    clarification, David Dzombak, a Carnegie Mellon University environmental
    engineering professor leading the review, said in an e-mail.

    On Aug. 11, 2016 the SAB peer review of
    the agency’s June 2015 draft
    of the its study on potential impacts from hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on drinking water
    supplies. generally found that the agency’s approach of focusing on individual
    stages of hydraulic fracturing water cycle (HFWC) processes for oil and gas’s
    potential impacts on drinking water sources “to be comprehensive but lacking in
    several critical areas.”

    “The SAB observes that the statement has been interpreted by
    readers and members of the public in many different ways. The SAB concludes
    that if EPA retains this conclusion, [it] should provide quantitative analysis
    that supports its conclusion that [fracing] has not led to widespread, systemic
    impacts on drinking water resources.”

    Statistical Review of Hydraulic Fracturing to Total
    Industrial Regulatory Violations

    The SAB’s final review recommends additional data to support
    the non-systemic impact of Hydraulic Fracturing to water resources. Consider
    the comparison to Hydraulic Fracturing to other industrial processes – using
    regulatory violations as a bench-mark matrix.

    As of August 2014 there were approximately
    24000 unconventional wells in USA. National Institute of Health [NHI] found that from 1998 to 2011, there
    were a total of 2,025 safety and drilling violations that were issued to 335
    companies in seventeen states between February 1998 and February 2011, 549 of
    which were classified as “major.”
    The percent of violations for all unconventional [horizontal drilling –
    hydraulic fracturing] is less than 10% or 8.4%. On an annualized basis
    unconventional well violation rate equals about 155 notices per year or 0.6%
    per year.

    Compare
    these annualized figures to the national rates of industrial regulatory
    violations. Per USEPA in FY2015,
    approximately 2,360 civil judicial and administrative cases were concluded.
    Unconventional well violations represent 6.6% of the overall industrial
    regulatory violations.

    Peer review data suggest that for
    unconventional wells, the violation rate in the northeast was 9.8% for wells
    drilled from 2000 to 2008 compared with 9.1% for 2009 to 2012.

    Nationally
    the violation rate of frac wells are slightly less than in northeast. Such
    extensive data supports the USEPA position, per their draft study, that found no ‘widespread,
    systemic’ impacts to drinking water from hydraulic fracturing”.

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