Recent comments by a retired oil and gas industry executive shows there is room for improvement on both sides of the natural gas fracking debate.
Former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister told The Associated Press that arrogance and lack of communication by the industry has helped fuel public anger over of hydraulic fracturing.
That's unfortunate, because the oil and gas industry has a good story to tell.
Technological improvements in drilling have reduced the nation's reliance on foreign oil imports and created a domestic drilling boom.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that oil imports are down 22.5 percent from their high in 2005. In West Virginia, employment in the natural gas industry has nearly tripled since 2001.
"Suddenly we have a 200-year supply of natural gas, when just a few years ago some predicted our supplies were running out," wrote Greg Kozera, president of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association.
Fracturing natural gas reservoirs is not new. It was developed in the 1940s to extract more natural gas. It's the ability to facture tight shale formations that's new.
Hydraulic fracturing uses massive amounts of water with a small amount of additives. The water must be handled with care when it flows back to the surface.