The wild success of the fracking industry has caught the attention of the big dogs in the energy industry. That’s good news for all involved, because the evidence shows that the bigger the companies get, the safer they frack. GE, a company that historically has had little interest in the oil and gas industry, is the latest conglomerate to get involved with the shale boom. Over the past few years it has poured more than $15 billion into the domestic boom. The AP reports:
General Electric Co. is opening a new laboratory in Oklahoma, buying up related companies, and placing a big bet that cutting-edge science will improve profits for clients and reduce the environmental and health effects of the boom….[GE senior vice president Mark Little] drew a parallel to GE’s work with the aircraft industry, since many decades ago flying was considered a risky business, but the industry evolved so that even as the speed, distance and number of flights increased, overall safety improved greatly.
Now that shale’s profitability has been so clearly demonstrated, behemoths like GE are muscling out the smaller “wildcat” drilling firms, which took on considerable risk to get the shale revolution started.This is good news for the environment: Bigger companies bring more resources to the table, and a desire to protect their brands. They’re less likely to cut corners, as the potential fallout of a drilling accident is much more dangerous to a company with a global image to protect.GE’s entry into the field is good news for fracking’s future, and good news for Gaia.[Oil rig image courtesy of Shutterstock]