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Ed Hudgins

Drilling Down Into The Fracking Debate

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September 20, 2013 -- In this State of the Culture update, William R Thomas and Edward Hudgins examine the opposition arrayed against fracking and new scientific findings regarding fracking's impact.

More State of the Culture updates:
Religion and the American Republic: Why George Will is Wrong
Republicans vs. Libetarians: Chris Christie Edition
Crony Capitalists in Space?
The IRS Scandal and the Tea Party Protests

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How do you establish property rights in such cases? We believe according to common real estate law that your property extends underground to the center of the Earth and up infinitely into space. Thus, in NYC, for example, building owners sell "air rights" to other entities that build over their property.

And in this case, the area below the surface is for sale. The contractual rights to tap water or oil or natural gas at one substrate can impact the rights of ownership to other strata.

Other free market economists such as Michael Rizzo (Unbroken Window here) are not certain that those who are commercially investing in fracking inherently respect the property rights of all others who impacted by their actions.

In other words, when the fracking begins, what kind of water will you be drinking?

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