Energy

Study: Fracking Has No Impact On Property Values, Despite Green Claims

(Reuters/Jim Urquhart)

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has no impact of property values, according to a study published last week by Ballotpedia.org, a web encyclopedia that tracks legislation and elections.

“When it comes to the proximity of active oil or gas wells, there is no definitive evidence that fracking impacted 2015 home values,” the Ballotpedia study concluded. “Some homes closer to the wells in four counties had lower sale prices and values, while in two counties, they had higher sale prices and values.”

The study was a response to a proposed ballot measure which would require all oil and gas wells to be a minimum of 2,500 feet from any occupied structures, including homes. Supporters of the ballot measure and previous research warned fracking could reduce property values enough to cause a new housing crisis.

In Weld County, where much of the fracking is occurring despite protests and legal obstacles, the study found a nearby fracking site adds $30,000 to each home’s property value.

There, nearly twice as many homes that have a well within 1,000 feet sold for about $30,000 more than homes that don’t have nearby wells.

The study surveyed 66,850 houses in Colorado, about half of which had a fracking site within 1,000 feet. The size of the study is important because home values are affected by an extremely broad array of factors and housing prices in the state are generally rising, so using a large sample size is necessary.

The study directly contradicts research published in December by Duke University which found homes that used well water lost value when fracking occurred nearby. The research was widely used by environmentalists to warn a perceived risk of groundwater contamination from fracking could have an adverse impact on housing prices and local tax collection.

Some even warned fracking could cause a new housing crisis even though the previous 2008 housing crisis was the result of a meltdown in sub-prime mortgage lending, not a dramatic decrease in land value.

Fracking has transformed America into the world’s largest and fastest growing producer of oil and natural gas. American reserves of crude oil and natural gas have risen for six consecutive years, although the U.S. produced more oil and natural gas than any other country in 2014, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

American oil production today is 80 percent higher than in 2008 and the country can produce an average of about 9.3 million barrels of crude oil each day. These huge increases in production and reserves are directly attributable to fracking.

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