Fracking Misinformation Corrected

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Says it all.

Notoriously, activists like Josh Fox, producer of the disinformation docudrama Gasland, claim that the process of blasting open cracks in deep shale deposits to release trapped natural gas, a.k.a. fracking, has contaminated water wells. Not so, concluded a report released last month at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. Now it seems that at least one environmental group now recognizes that these claims are false. In an article headlined, Faulty Wells, Not Fracking, Blamed for Water Pollution, the Wall Street Journal today reports: 

The energy industry has been struggling to convince critics that fracking is safe. If the industry can persuade them that the chief pollution risk is poorly constructed wells—and that risk can be minimized—it might encounter less resistance from the public to expanding oil-and-gas production.

Mark Boling, executive vice president and general counsel of Southwestern Energy Co., a major natural-gas producer, said he has examined several incidents in Colorado and Pennsylvania where gas drilling appears to have caused gas to get into drinking water. "Every one we identified was caused by a failure of the integrity of the well, and almost always it was the cement job," he said.

A. Scott Anderson, a senior policy adviser with the Environmental Defense Fund who is working with Mr. Boling, agreed. "The groundwater pollution incidents that have come to light to date have all been caused by well construction problems," he said.

See my September column, Natural Gas Flip Flop, where I reported: 

The shale that contains natural gas lies below thousands of feet of impermeable rock, so the fracking process itself will not contaminate drinking water aquifers, which generally are only a few hundred feet below the surface at most. A 2010 Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection report noted that, according to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Watershed Management, "no groundwater pollution or disruption of underground sources of drinking water have been attributed to hydraulic fracturing of deep gas formations."

As with conventional wells, it is possible that natural gas can escape into aquifers if the wells are not properly sealed using steel and cement casings. An April study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found elevated levels of natural gas in groundwater wells within 3,000 feet of active gas well sites. The researchers concluded that the source is likely leaky casings. More reassuringly, the study "found no evidence for contamination of the shallow [water] wells near active drilling sites from deep brines and/or fracturing fluids." In any case, should their findings stand up to subsequent research, the problem is not fracking but improperly sealed well casings.

In other news, scientists at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources believe that a series of small earthquakes (magnitude 4.0) near Youngstown are related to injection wells in which excess fracking water is disposed. 

In December, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rushed a preliminary report which claimed that the agency had detected chemicals associated with fracking in groundwater wells near Pavillion, Wyoming. Gas industry officials objected that the EPA's own monitoring wells could be responsible for for the chemicals. Last week, the agency agreed to further testing

It should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway—if gas production harms someone else's property, then the owners must be compensated in full for the harms. 

NEXT: Damon Root on the Case Against Rent Control

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  1. Great article yesterday about fracking on NR. I will fetch the link.

      1. White Indian always confuse tribe with Kochsucker? Is this White man speak?

      2. If the primitivists wish to dismiss all of history as a decline towards the monolithic ogre of civilisation, then that is of course up to them. What is quite clear, however, is that their movement has no merit either as an abstract critique or as a recipe for revolution. In the former sense, it lacks any significance. In the latter, it is a recipe for misery, suffering, and death.

        http://propertyistheft.wordpre…..imitivism/

    1. U.S. Government Confirms Link Between Earthquakes and Hydraulic Fracturing

      http://oilprice.com/Energy/Nat…..uring.html

      1. White Indian not worry about earthquakes. Tent collapse on its own most nights anyway.

        1. doesn’t matter when KOCH OIL and buddies does it.

          FIBERTARIANISM: GOVERNMENT FOR ME, NOT FOR THEE!

          1. Do these Koch people have tents? Are they good tents?

            1. They used to have them, but now they’re past tents. We hope to have some again someday, which will be future tents.

              All of this makes me nervous, so now I have two tents.

              1. You know what I love about camping?

                It’s in tents….

          2. advocate mass murder and suffering on a scale unimaginable by Hitler or Stalin.

      2. So that’s a good thing, right? I mean, it seems unlikely that fracking could possibly introduce enough energy to cause the earthquake, so perhaps it’s simply letting off stress.

        The cited article notes that:

        “Specifically, evidence gathered by state officials suggests fluid from the Northstar 1 disposal well intersected an unmapped fault in a near-failure state of stress causing movement along that fault.”

        So the fault was already in a near-failure state of stress. Is it possible that it’s better to have a smaller earthquake now than a larger one later?

        1. Indeed. AFAIK seismologists at place like Caltech have been looking for ways to engineer earthquakes for a long time. A 3 quake is generally innocuous in California, where structures are built to withstand far stronger quakes. The idea has been that, if we can create smaller-magnitude quakes to relieve stress before it builds up to the levels necessary to cause a magnitude 7+ quake, then we could avoid a true natural disaster altogether.

        2. ive wondered that as well. however, the key is if the potential fault energy be released in a controlled way to mitigate future shifts.

      3. But profitably so.

  2. You would think finding a huge new source of energy would be greeted as good news by everyone. Instead, the greens seem upset by it. It couldn’t be that their real goal is to shut down capitalism could it?

    1. ….it’s the energy that Idiocracy craves.

      http://www.btlonline.org/2010/seg/101…..isher.html

      1. White Indian keep good layer of blubber for days when he can gambol freely. It is cold out there without the agricultural city state.

        1. Why else does he talk about it all day, every day?

          1. Is white Indian as they say “are you mad bro?” in white man speak?

            White Indian seem angry and upset at this John person. As always, White Indian should eat less, gambol more.

              1. White Indian should not gambol angry. And Real Indian no understand all this white man speak.

                1. thinking about it again, John?

                  1. Jason must lose weight or no one want his body. The gamboling life is hard. Too many trips to five guys. No five guys in the field.

                    1. you were always on my mind

                    2. You seem so angry and frustrated Mr. Indian. Accepting Jesus as your personal savior helps with that. You also seem to have a problem with shitting in trash cans. There is no problem you can’t solve with the Lord’s help.

                    3. Even if some fracker hurt you, it doesn’t mean the church of fracking is bad.

                    4. Show me where the fracker touched you.

      2. Fail. Debunked.

        1. Sort of like evolution has been “debunked” in Fundie dreams.

          1. White Indian call other white men smart White man terms like Fundie. White Indian smart in white man’s ways. Now if he could just learn to build Tee-pee properly and stop shitting in trash cans.

            1. Google “Market Fundamentalism.”

              Learn, Fibertarian.

              1. White Indian so funny. He always make tribe laugh.

    2. Or we are just concerned about leakage into wells and aquifers. If large parts of the US’s potable water is made unfit for consumption, that is too much of a cost. Also, I like how even though libertarians are always telling us how large corporate interests capture regulatory bodies, we are supposed to suddenly trust anything that comes from state natural resources departments as being the unfettered truth. Well, as long as they say fracking is safe, that is.

      1. Tony, that is not true. The science time and again has shown it not to be. Are you anti science or anti energy?

      2. don’t let the fact that leakage is not occurring get in your way, tony. Or that large amounts of water are NOT being made unfit for consumption. Jeez. And the left always accuses the right of scare tactics.

        1. wareagle, circa Jan 2008

          don’t let the fact that housing prices are still rising get in your way, tony.

          Because the fact that something hasn’t occurred yet means that it will never occur! Let me guess, you’re not a scientist?

          1. Tony|3.13.12 @ 11:14AM|#
            “Because the fact that something hasn’t occurred yet means that it will never occur!”
            Surprise! Shithead offers unknown possibility as “evidence!
            ===========================
            “Let me guess, you’re not a scientist?”
            Let me guess, you’re a lying, self-righteous, egotistical twit?

            1. Surprise wingut goes straight to spittle flecked rage when exposed to opinion outside his little echo chamber.

              1. Tony|3.13.12 @ 11:25AM|#
                “Surprise wingut goes straight to spittle flecked rage”

                Surprise! Shithead accuses others of ‘spittle flecked rage” when called on bullshit!

                  1. White Indian make everyone laugh with funny terms like Fundie and Comrade. White Indian fat, lazy and lousy gamboler. But always make everyone laugh.

          2. I am a geologist and environmental engineer.

            You are a moron.

            1. Well, you play one on the internet, anyway.

              1. Wow, you’re a total fucking asshole.

                1. You just realized that? You must be new here.

                2. Guessing Britt’s comment was to Tony and not to me, as I don’t see how responding with qualifications to an appeal to authority makes me an asshole.

      3. Tony|3.13.12 @ 10:52AM|#
        “Or we are just concerned about leakage into wells and aquifers. If large parts of the US’s potable water is made unfit for consumption, that is too much of a cost”

        Surprise! Shithead repeats lies!

        1. shithead

          1. You shouldn’t swear Mr. Indian. Jesus doesn’t like that.

            1. or so he thinks

      4. So, Tony, can you quantify that? What percent of groundwater contamination is an acceptable risk?

        1. if even one life one molecule of water is saved, then the cost is worth it.

          Now, back in the human-hamster-wheel dynamo so you can respond to this.

      5. “If large parts of the US’s potable water is made unfit for consumption, that is too much of a cost.”

        Yes, and if it angers the demon princes of the underworld and brings them to feast on the flesh of innocent children, then that would also be too much of a cost.

        Unless there some specific mechanism for explaining how your scenario could happen, despite geology, then it’s about as useful as mine for formulating energy policy.

    3. Yep. See my link.

      1. Last page.

        The whole article is good however.

    4. Indeed, there doesn’t appear to be any source of energy that the watermelons approve of. It sounds as though they prefer we all live (those of us they plan keep alive anyway) in a rather austere lifestyle. And here I thought “progressives” considered “austerity” to be a dirty word.

    5. They love capitalism, what they hate are free markets.

      What do you think fuels the EPA, GE and Greenpeace?

      1. Correction: they love crapitalism.

  3. I’ve been seeing stuff from people on Facebook that blamed the Earthquakes in different parts of the country on fracking. Troll science to the rescue!

    1. Gotcha.

      1. White Indian too obsessed with these Koch white men. White Indian need to eat less, gambol more.

    2. Earthquakes have been linked to geothermal drilling in Europe, as well.

      1. Do earthquakes ever get linked to the earth naturally quaking anymore?

        1. The earth is pretty impotent these days: incapable of changing it’s climate on it’s own, incapable of shaking one off, and so on.

  4. Fracking Misinformation Corrected

    Geez, no need to swear.

  5. It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway – if gas production harms someone else’s property, then the owners must be compensated in full for the harms.

    I don’t think very many people trust the courts, the government or private industry to make sure that happens.

    We’re all so used to seeing people get screwed all the time. And litigation costs a lot of money. That’s what NIMBY is all about.

    1. That’s what NIMBY is all about.

      Unless you’re a Kennedy and instead of wells, it’s windmills.

    2. I thought that’s what NAMBLA was about.

  6. What is this? Battlestar Galactica or something?

    1. If so, I wanna fly with Boomer! And the only Viper would be the one in my pants!

    1. White Indian keep drinking yellow water and eating yellow snow. Tribe must break him of this. That and shitting in trash cans make for bad gamboling.

      1. can’t keep thinking about it, or talking about it

        “you were always on my mind”

        1. You should really think about Jesus Mr. Indian. He loves you and has a personal interest in your life. You just have to let him in. Please, let us put you on our mailing list.

          1. Market Fundamentalist
            Religious Fundamentalist

            ‘s the difference?

            1. If you would just accept Jesus you wouldn’t be so angry all of the time.

  7. “It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway – if gas production harms someone else’s property, then the owners must be compensated in full for the harms.”

    I’m pro-fracking myself (in fact, I luuvvee it, if you know what I mean), but suing a large corporation isn’t quite as easy as Ron makes it sound. If you’re lucky, you screw them, a la Erin Brockovich.* If you’re unlucky, they stiff-arm you for a couple of decades.

    *For details on Erin, on the screen and in the flesh, go here: http://www.brightlightsfilm.co…..kovich.php

    1. Wow Venneman, you actually said something smart. Yes, you are right. Suing a large corporation is generally a bitch. Unless you are talking the real possibility of eight or really nine figure losses, they can afford to stiff arm you for years without worry. Getting sued is part of doing business.

      1. Thanks John. We always knew fucking over people was just a business expense.

        1. White Indian sad angry. Can’t pick handle. Can’t think straight. White Indian need a hug?

            1. Mr. Indian,

              Have you taken Jesus as your personal savior? Have you thought about what will happen when you die?

              Would you like to have a copy of our newsletter?

              1. We want our cake and to eat it too.

    2. Suing a large corporation isn’t quite as easy as Ron makes it sound.

      I don’t think Bailey was making it sound easy. I read it as suggesting that making sure people are compensated is part of the solution.

      Making sure people are appropriately compensated for the damage third parties do to their property is absolutely essential if we’re going to drill like this.

      There’s almost like a Kelo concern looming in the background, too. Not only are people not sure the government is going to protect their property rights, some of us are worried that the government itself may initiate the violation of our rights.

      It’s getting harder for people to trust the government to protect their rights, and that’s a big problem. I ready what Bailey wrote as acknowledging that.

      I don’t think he was being flippant.

  8. Fracking causes a range of environmental problems.

    At least eight other states have reported surface, ground, and drinking water contamination due to fracking.

    In Pennsylvania, over 1,400 environmental violations have been attributed to deep gas wells utilizing fracking practices.

    Pollution from truck traffic, chemical contamination around storage tanks, and habitat fragmentation and damage from drilling to environmentally sensitive areas have are all related to fracking.

    http://cleanwater.org/page/fac…..t-fracking

    REAL CAPITLISTS DON’T DRINK CLEAN WATER

    Thus, the damage to your well is unscientific.

    1. White Indian never understand that correlation doesn’t equal causation. White Indian still think shitting in trash cans causes sun to come up. Can’t break him of this. Tribe very concerned.

      1. John, you are a complete fucking idiot, straight out of Idiocracy. (Typical Conservative/Fibertarian.)

        “Correlation is not causation but it sure is a hint.”
        ~Edward Tufte
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C….._causation

        1. White Indian so angry at this John person. Stress exacerbates weight problem. Make for bad gamboling.

          1. thinking about it again, John?

            1. White Indian so lonely. So want to be loved. Shitting in trash cans, eating cheese burgers and building bad tee-pee no way to be loved.

              1. Oh John!

        2. John, you are a complete fucking idiot, straight out of Idiocracy

          so mad!

          “Correlation is not causation

          at least he admitted he was wrong and John was right.

      2. White Indian never understand that correlation doesn’t equal causation.

        He doesn’t seem to have bothered to read the article.

    2. Fracking causes peoplez to eatz heapum babies.

      1. Every once in a while, I think I should put down the sandwich and get to gambolin’.

        But then I get high on peace pipe.

    3. We’re talking about whether drilling for natural gas introduces natural gas into the water table.

      We aren’t talking about whether or not trucks have exhaust.

      Or whether it “breaks up habitat” if people use their land instead of letting it lie fallow.

      We aren’t talking about that because the homeowners supposedly harmed by fracking also drive vehicles that emit exhaust and also break up habitat, so I don’t want to hear their fucking complaints.

    4. State environmental agencies send out NOVs like grocery stores send out coupon books.

    5. God damn you are fucking retarded.

  9. Just ignore the minor earthquakes. It’s nothing, really.

    And earthquakes are to a girl’s guitar
    They’re just another good vibration

  10. So the gas industry is contaminating water with poorly built wells, and causing earthquakes with disposal (as opposed to actual operative use) of fracking material in geographically sensitive zones?

    As a hardcore libertarian who jeers at EPA employees in my more general social circles openly on AGW hysteria, and thinks “Green” is mostly a traffic light color for totalitarian thought, technocratic tyranny, and chicken-little fears, this is nevertheless very strong evidence for the need (at least currently) of regulatory oversight of fracking operations from start to finish.

    1. you may well be the only self-proclaimed libertarian making a case for MORE oversight. What, is energy not regulated tightly enough for you?

      1. We need more contaminated wells and murders, if we’re to achieve a glorious fibertarian society!

        1. Murder make bad medicine, bad gamboling.

        2. The only thing that stops people from killing you is laws against it.

          Otherwise you would be dead.

          1. and so are all regulations

            Fibertarian told me so.

        3. Actually, murder laws are NOT regulation.

          Murder laws are post-hoc punishments for wrongdoing.

          A “regulation” would be if, in response to seeing that murders occur, we required all human beings to take anti-murder classes and carry anti-murder certifications on their person before they were allowed to leave the house.

          this is nevertheless very strong evidence for the need (at least currently) of regulatory oversight of fracking operations from start to finish.

          This is like saying the fact that people occasionally get food poisoning demonstrates the need (at least currently) for us to station a bureaucrat at your house to review the paperwork you complete prior to making any sandwich.

          Come up with civil and criminal penalties for fracking damage. Post-hoc penalties. Problem solved. Libertarians not offended.

          1. They’re post-hoc punishments for wrongdoing.

            Neat bit of thinking there. LOL

            1. It’s the only reasonable distinction to draw.

              If we’re going to have two different words, they should have two distinct referents. Otherwise we can just always use the word “law”.

              AFAIAC, when I talk about “regulation”, I mean “procedural or bureaucratic restrictions placed before an action”.

              So having a law that would charge you with assault if you served someone spoiled meat in a sandwich would be plain old “law”, while requiring everyone who sells sandwiches to get a license first would be “regulation”.

      2. Maybe it’s overregulated overall. But in a specific relatively new area where there are controllable things leading to earthquakes and leaky poisonous wells, maybe a brief second look is in order for regulation or litigation if regulation is too freaky a word for you. (Hint: human controllable activity, causes harms to property, that’s an area for government to legitimately act, not miniarchal libertarianistically difficult, just for anarchos.)

        1. …over harm to another.

          Christ, the KOCH Industries Steal Oil, and work for Stalin.

          think they have any real principles?

        2. Is more regulation the only way to accomplish this? How do you overcome regulatory capture? How do you get rid of the regulators once they’re no longer necessary?

          1. Is more regulation the only way to accomplish this?

            Hopefully not. May just be an issue of enforcement priorities.

            How do you overcome regulatory capture?

            Good question — Sortition-based government. Eternal vigilance. Juries. Sunsetting regulations. Checks/balances. Some combination.

            How do you get rid of the regulators once they’re no longer necessary?

            Tough question — Private sector jobs in a profiting industry. A semi-permanent small number. Good question.

            1. Tonio’s Questions: The Good, The Tough, And the Ugly.

          2. How do you get rid of the regulators once they’re no longer necessary?

            Same way we do now! (That is, you don’t.)

            1. A bit more seriously:

              Google up how Southwest helped dismantle the CAB in the 70’s, revitalizing the faltering airline industry.

    2. Did you not read the article? The gas companies aren’t the ones building shitty drinking water wells.

  11. I’m convinced. Let’s make Shrike president. After all, he’s an experienced financial professional, and Obama’s just a community organizer.

    1. Whoops, wrong thread. Seriously, squirrels? I am 100% sure I posted this from the Orszag thread.

    2. Ha, ha.

  12. Let them drink Courvoisier.

    1. Courvoiser make for good gamboling.

      1. White Indian say he wish someone frack twinkie factory. White Indian need more efficient method to insulate self with blubbler gambol with refined sugar!

        1. It is cold out there without the agricultural city state. You need a protective layer of blubber.

          1. Jason want to love rather, but rather never stop trolling long enough to be Jason squaw. Jason has a sad 🙁

            1. Jason needs to accept Jesus as his personal savior. It will help him to work through his anger and personal hygiene issues.

            2. and that is sweet for a lonely boy in Kansas

              but do you need to share your romance online here, John?

              1. Poor White Indian. Everyone makes fun of him. Everyone laughs. He needs Jesus.

        2. That’s what’s the matter with Kansas. It’s lonely out on the prairie…

          1. You seem so sad. Jesus is life and joy.

              1. See maybe are coming around. Don’t you feel less angry already? Don’t feel like taking a shower now?

                1. …John as a cross-dresser.

                  1. White Indian always making fun of gay people. Does that almost as much as he shits in trash cans. So many bad habits to break before tribe can accept him.

                2. Needs more jeebus.

                  1. I want it noted Tonio that I don’t consider being accused of being a cross dresser or being gay an insult. If there is nothing wrong with it, and there isn’t, then it can’t be an insult.

                    1. I want it noted Tonio that I don’t consider being accused of being a cross dresser or being gay an insult.

                      Being called a fag on the internets stopped being insulting back in 2000. I don’t get who still thinks it’s a good insult.

                    2. But calling someone Kochsucker never get old.

  13. Don’t drink the water, mang.

  14. Maybe Nick Denton reads H&R.

  15. We need to dig a little deeper into the reason writer/editor as White Indian possibility. Would it be more likely that WI would show up in his own comments sections to drive up hits or the comments of another contributor in an attempt to drive people away?

    1. Ron Bailey does not Gambol.

      1. So far today it has appeared in articles by Ron, Damon, and Shika but has skipped Nick, Matt, and ML. If you’re proposing that it is someone trying to drive people away we can narrow it down to contributors where it doesn’t appear.

        1. If it’s a staffer it would be an intern.

    2. I like this theory; it fits with someone in fear of losing his cushy job at Reason.

      I know I’ve seen it in articles by RB before. I don’t really remember the other two.

      1. As I was thinking about it, I came up with another, more horrifying thought. White Indian is actually one of the Koch brothers.

        1. Now that would be an epic troll. My mind would be 100% blown.

  16. Who awakened the beast?

  17. Well, this thread has been an absolute waste of time. WI’s greatest success?

  18. “It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway – if gas production harms someone else’s property, then the owners must be compensated in full for the harms. ”

    — HAHAHHAHAHAH!!! That’s a good one. Oh. *wipes tear*

    … No, we’ll send wave after wave of wingnuts. And after they get through with a rigorous campaign of using the scientific methods of “misinformation” and “blaming the victim,” we’ll forget all about them. Good stuff.

    1. You know why this is stupid?

      Because essentially you’re saying that if one side in litigation is given the opportunity to defend itself, it’s impossible to get a just outcome.

      But that would mean that all civil court disputes everywhere always have unjust outcomes (since the defendant is always given the opportunity to mount a defense). Not just in fracking, but always and everywhere.

  19. It has, in the past, claimed to be a long-time contributor participant in the H&R commentariat. Also to be a “reformed” libertarian.

    I definitely think its intent is to shut down threads. Juvenile butthurt jealous grudge is my diagnosis. It has nothing particularly interesting or relevant or amusing to say, but it keeps blurting out “LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEE” over and over and over; louder every time.

    1. I’m sure they know it’s happening. I’m sure they can determine the IP address it’s posting from. The fact they refuse to do anything about probably means they think suppression would be worse.

      1. It’s pretty easy to hop IP’s with various proxies. It’s possible that Reason staffers simply can’t pin it down long enough for an IP ban to work.

    2. I guess you have something there. I’ve only been hanging around here for about a year so I’m not familiar with all of the older griefers from before that.

  20. This is all just a cover-up for how Fracking causes Autism.

  21. Shorter “Liberty”:

    “I like science when it reinforces my prejudices!”

    1. It’s more like, “Proving you harmed me might be hard; so I should get to take your liberty and property away without proof!”

  22. Do you mean this American Association for the Advancement of Sciences?

    In December 2006, the AAAS adopted an official statement on climate change in which they stated, “The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society….The pace of change and the evidence of harm have increased markedly over the last five years. The time to control greenhouse gas emissions is now.”

    1. You do know that Ron isn’t a denier right? I know a lot of us here are, but I’m pretty sure he’s just skeptical.

      1. It would be great if Ron is a skeptic. That would indicate he has some appreciation for the scientific method. But, alas, no. Ron claims to be a believer in AGW.

  23. Pennsylvania’s had gas migration and mining runoff longer than it’s had its communist liquor system.

    In fact, we were the fricking Wal-mart for the US industrial revolution–we made the steel for the rails and the trains. We made the trains. Our entire northern tier was denuded of pines for rail ties and homes. Our anthracite and coke powered everything.

    And now, 100 years later, we’re not an industrial wasteland. The state has millions of acres of untouched game and forest lands. 120 state parks. Agriculture is our number one industry. The northern part of the state with no pines? Now it has some of the finest hardwoods in the world–your costly black cheery bed is PA wood.

    Compared to what the state went through before, fracking is nothing. We have a handle on it. Trust us.

    1. Compared to what the state went through before, fracking is nothing. We have a handle on it. Trust us.

      You are interfering with my application of the Precautionary Principle. Also, you are probably lying because you can’t trust anyone who is pro-capitalism in regards to the environment. I bet Pennsylvania is a smoking radioactive ruin, something between Bhopal, Chernobyl, and Newark. If there have been any environmental improvements in PA in the 20th century, they are due to regulations. Because if we did not have regulations the fossil-fuel conspiracy would destroy the planet for short term profits. Everyone knows this. Everyone knows that the goal of corporations is to destroy Earth and then escape on their Corpo-Spacecraft to rape and destroy other planets.

  24. I’m confused, maybe someone can help.

    When we talk about a “well” we mean the chamber running from ground into the aquifer below that, right? According to the article, fracking (which occurs below the aquifer) doesn’t release natural gas in to aquifers above it. But it does release gas into the poorly built wells above the aquifer? Or are they saying that there is already gas at the level of the wells, and the poorly constructed wells are leaking that gas in?

    Sorry if this doesn’t make sense, or if this is explained already.

    1. What Discord asked, as I, too, have skipped enormous chunks of this thread in the suspicion that the words typed therein were pointless.

    2. If the well (the very deep gas well) is not properly cased and cemented, gas can leak through and around the casing and travel upward into the aquifer, potentially tainting nearby water wells that are drilled to shallower depths.

  25. if we did not have regulations the fossil-fuel conspiracy would destroy the planet for short term profits.

    You forgot “and kill off all their customers for sport.”

    1. The tobacco companies have been killing their customers for decades.

      1. aktor|3.13.12 @ 12:59PM|#
        The tobacco companies have been killing their customers for decades.

        …and The State continues to encourage they do so, while they milk the shit for as much tax-$$ as they can. We know.

        Comparing every *other* industry to tobacco whenever they want to demonize something is kind of a hopeless stretch though. Note* = tobacco is a recreational drug with no other economic purpose. Natural gas is a goddamn efficient Electricity-generation fuel. You think maybe there’s SOME motivation behind extracting it *other* than to destroy the earth and murder unwitting citizens??

        or… No = all coporashunz are teh Evil like cigarettes.

  26. And another comments section shitted up by griefers – and the fucking idiots who continue to feed them.

  27. It’s Frac’ing not Fracking. It’s shorthand for hydro-fracturing. There is no K involved.

    1. But if we spell it the correct way how are we supposed to make Battlestar Galactica jokes godsdamnit?

  28. But it does release gas into the poorly built wells above the aquifer?

    Yes. It’s like a straw with a hole in the side.

    1. I… drink… your… milkshake!

    2. The natural gas does not go straight up.

      It makes a bee-line, sideways and thousands of feet higher, into the closest well it can find. Kind of like two magnets.

    3. If the gas from frac’ing is going up in to the wells that are poorly built, then it must necessarily be hitting the aquifers below them too, right?

  29. The energy industry has been struggling to convince critics that fracking is safe. If the industry can persuade them that the chief pollution risk is poorly constructed wells?and that risk can be minimized?it might encounter less resistance from the public to expanding oil-and-gas production.

    Silliness abounds. The problem with fracking “critics” is not that fracking could potentially cause some harm, but that the enterprise is undertaken to get oil and nat gas. So long as a fossil fuel is the end result of fracking, critics won’t let up no matter how many lies they have to peddle.

  30. So how many wells are poorly built? It almost sounds like the majority are. If the majority are poorly built then aren’t we right back to the beginning? Fracking will cause contamination, even if it’s ultimately the fault of whoever built the wells. So should we then go around fixing all the wells first, before fracking?

    1. It almost sounds like the majority are.

      If the majority of the 10s of thousands of fraking wells (oil and gas) nation wide were contaminating water wells this would not even be a debate. Fraking would have stopped dead years ago.

      It is a handful. My guess it is less then 100.

  31. Thanks for reporting the facts about hydraulic fracturing. We’ve spoken to many, many people who live with fracking in their backyards–people who the mainstream media and “Gasland” refuse to acknowledge–and they all tell us the same thing: The risks of fracking have been dramatically and irresponsibly blown out of proportion.

    Watch for yourselves: http://kck.st/FrackNationClip

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