Study: Fracking does not cont­aminate grou­ndwater

UT study: Fracking isn't harmless

CUERO, Texas - The city of Cuero is thriving.

The oil and gas boom on the Eagle Ford Shale in this area has provided an economic lift this community badly need when the drought devastated the agricultural industry in the region.

A recent study, released just this week from the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin, claims that the oil and gas drilling practice known as fracking does not directly harm groundwater.

It's a finding that doesn't surprise many here. Roy Cusack, a DeWitt County resident, relies on well water from his property.

"I have had no problem at all with my groundwater. I mean they've been fracking all around me for over a year, and I'm drinking it just like this," said Cusack as he showed us a cup of crystal-clear water.

Sister Elizabeth Riebschlaeger, a long-time skeptic of the safety of the practice of fracking, isn't convinced.

"Duke University did a study and they seem to document that there  has been damage due to fracking," said Riebschlaeger.

Sicehe still sees a glaring vulnerability in the drilling practice.

"The drilling pipe that goes down through all those different layers - geological layers - can rupture at any point in time," she said.

That's a point that the University of Texas study concedes, but claims that isn't a potential danger that is exclusive to fracking.

The benefits of the practice aren't lost on the skeptics either.

"Who could not be pro business when a town like this needs jobs, but we're saying lets be honest and lets be carefull because there's air, there's water at stake where irreversable damage can take place and our children are going to inherit this and have to deal with it," said Riebschlaeger.

Many people we spoke with in Cuero has some reservations when it comes to fracking, but most said they are comfortable with the practice, and thankful for the economic boom it has provided.


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