June 18, 2013
Virginia's Director of Energy is supporting a push to expand fracking in the Commonwealth.
Fracking is a process for drilling for natural gas by pumping a mixture of water and chemicals into the ground.
The US Forest Service is considering allowing fracking in the George Washington National Forest.
Environmental groups say it can contaminate groundwater, and may damage the forest in other ways.
Conrad Spangler, who is with the Virginia Department of Energy, says the process is safe.
"These techniques have been used for decades in our country," said Spangler. "In Virginia, nearly 2,000 wells have been fractured using nitrogen as the fracking agent and there have been no instances at all of any groundwater impacts."
Spangler adds that fracking might come slowly to Virginia because natural gas reserves are more abundant in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.