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New York Senate Passes Temporary Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing

The New York Senate passes a bill intended to temporarily ban hydraulic fracturing. But it might also end up temporarily banning most gas and oil drilling in the state.

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(New York State Department of Environmental Conservation)

In a predawn vote Wednesday, New York State's senate passed a bill that reaches beyond the debate over the environmental safety of drilling for gas in the Marcellus Shale and would effectively ban almost all gas and oil drilling in the state until next spring. The bill circumvents an environmental review by the state's regulatory agency that could be finished this year.

The bill prohibits the underground process of hydraulic fracturing, which breaks up buried rock and releases gas trapped inside.

Its author, State Senator Antoine Thompson, told ProPublica the moratorium is aimed at pausing the kind of high-volume hydraulic fracturing used in horizontally-drilled wells in the Marcellus Shale until legislators can reach an informed decision about its risks. But the language in the final bill as it is posted on the state's website does not differentiate between the different ways hydraulic fracturing can be used. It appears to be a blanket prohibition that would also stop hydraulic fracturing in New York's many vertical oil and gas wells and would apply to drilling in geologic formations outside the Marcellus.

The Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York, an industry trade group, has pushed hard against the measure, describing it as "unnecessary" and driven by "a calculated campaign of misinformation and ignorance."

An IOGA spokesman told ProPublica the bill was technically flawed and would affect hydraulically fractured wells beyond the intent of the law. It would have the unintended consequence of preventing drilling that is currently allowed, he said.

"They really don't understand what they are opposing and they don't understand why they are opposing it," said Jim Smith, the IOGA spokesman. "Many of them don't know the difference between horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing -- they use the term hydraulic fracturing to describe the entire process."

The bill passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 48 to nine. The state assembly, which is considering a similar version of the bill, began its August recess yesterday, so it won't vote on the bill until mid-September. Then the measure would have to be signed by Gov. David Paterson, whose term ends Dec.31, before it becomes law.

The anti-fracturing measure -- the first of its kind in the nation -- initially arose out of concerns that New York could experience the same rash of water contamination, spills and air quality impacts that have affected Pennsylvania since it embraced widespread Marcellus Shale drilling two years ago.

Its passage was speeded by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Thompson said.

"We have to make sure we do our due diligence," Thompson told ProPublica. "There have been clear examples just next door in Pennsylvania where the Department of Environmental Protection fell short. We have to make sure that whether there are concerns raised by landowners, the Farm Bureau, the Sierra Club or just a resident of New York that we try to address them legislatively and not just through the permitting process."

The bill would prevent gas and oil drillers from using hydraulic fracturing in oil or gas wells until May 15, 2011.

The state's Department of Environmental Conservation is charged with permitting drilling in New York, and is in the midst of a two-year-long environmental review of the impacts of hydraulic fracturing. The agency has received more than 14,000 comments on its draft report, and is expected to complete a final study as soon as September, after which it could begin permitting new wells.

A DEC spokesman declined to comment on the progress of the environmental review or the impact of the senate bill.

At a news conference in Albany Wednesday morning, Gov. Paterson spoke indirectly about the Senate bill, saying the DEC is still reviewing mountains of research on the drilling process and should be allowed to finish that process.

He added that drilling stands to be "very lucrative" for the state, which has struggled through budget shortfalls and the recession. "But we don't want that opportunity to in any way obfuscate our intent to provide public safety and clean water, which is a vital problem," he said.

In addition to stepping on the DEC's toes, the ban would defer a decision on the state's drilling policies to the governor's successor, who will be elected in November.

"It makes sense that this outgoing administration not saddle the incoming administration with a permanent program," said Kate Sinding, a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. "It's something the environmental and grassroots community in the state has been pushing for, which is a legislative time out."

Victor Kovacs

Aug. 4, 2010, 3:50 p.m.

The first of many victories to come as we see the end of fracking and the end of the contamination of our nation’s watersheds. In WWII the turning point for the Allies came at the battles of Midway and Stalingrad, and the NYS moratorium is the beginning of the end of fracking across America. Time for the truth to be told about the shameful way the Oil and Gas Lobby has lied and lied and lied.

“New York could experience the same rash of water contamination, spills and air quality impacts that have affected Pennsylvania since it embraced widespread Marcellus Shale drilling two years ago.”

There you go again Mr Lustgarten, like clockwork! What exactly constitutes a “rash” of water contamination? Does half a dozen wells out of over 120,000 in PA constitute this “rash” or do you have some other stash of documented well contamination cases you have been sitting on? And speaking of “contamination”, you are speaking of the methane contamination correct? You wouldn’t be trying to confuse readers into believing that fracturing fluids have contaminated aquifers, would you? I believe that’s called a bait and switch.

So the NY State legislature makes a politically motivated gesture and overrides the local regulatory body which alone has the technical resources to make a fact based determination on the impact of hydraulic fracturing. More to the point, in its ham handed attempt to appeal to the activist community the NY State legislature effectively put the kebosh on all drilling activities, even those whose impacts have not been judged controversial. I realize that since the economy in New York is experiencing such explosive growth, and local coffers are so flush with money (especially in more rural areas where drilling is a much larger share of the local economy) it’s not as if NY State needs the additional high paying jobs and tax revenue.

So much for the reality based community.

Victor Kovacs

Aug. 4, 2010, 5:58 p.m.

Mike, your concern for the coffers of NY State overwhelms me. Too bad you don’t have the same regard for the clean water of this state, but then why would a shill for the Oil & Gas Lobby be concerned with clean water?

NY State can very simply stop rebating the stock transfer tax back to Wall Street and collect 16 billion dollars every year and not have to allow the unregulated poisoning of our watershed so out-of-state gas executives can get rich off the misfortune and misery of others.

‘Politically motivated’? I love when those on the losing end of legislation cry that refrain. Well, get used to be on the losing end of legislation because this is just the start. Fracking is finished and you’ll have the opportunity to go and be the lapdog of some other polluting industry.

Shilling for something as despicable as hydro-fracking? You have no shame. Wonder what stream of lies will come forth from your keyboard next.

TO MIKE H -

KEY WORDS In your comment are “not yet”.  Why contaminate before studying the problem.  I suspect legislators are becoming wise because they see what carelessnes does due to BP s unregulated destruction.

see:
http://www.benzeneleukemialawblog.com/tags/groundwater-contamination/

Posted on May 13, 2009 by David Austin
Until recently, drilling for natural gas trapped in shale formations was not favored by drilling companies due to higher extraction costs. New technologies and a new push for oil independence have natural gas drilling companies clambering for a share in drilling the Appalachian basin’s Marcellus Shale formation.

The largest of the U.S. shale gas reserves, Marcellus extends through New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Though it is estimated to contain up to 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and could theoretically cover U.S. natural gas needs for up to ten years, fear of the toxic chemicals used in the drilling process is fueling widespread public outcry.

At issue is the hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” fluid used in the creation of natural gas wells. The process involves injecting huge volumes of water laced with benzene and hundreds of other toxic chemicals, deep into the earth. Although the chemicals are injected well below the water table, as much as 60% of the fluid is later recovered and sometimes stored above ground in open pits. There is growing evidence that hydraulic fracturing poses a great threat to groundwater quality and public health.

Benzene, an organic solvent linked to several rare and debilitating blood disorders such as aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, and acute myelogenous leukemia, is just one of the hundreds of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluid. The exact compositions of these fluids are largely unknown to the public because Congress has all but completely exempted oil and gas exploration companies from the Federal Emergency Planning and Community Right To Know acts. Environmental experts believe that up to 90% of the chemicals used are toxic to humans.

Oil and Gas Drilling companies are also exempt from the following environmental laws:

•Safe Drinking Water Act
•Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (sets standard for hazardous waste handling procedures)

TO MIKE - I also think you spin for companies.
Excerpt from
http://www.benzeneleukemialawblog.com/tags/groundwater-contamination/
At issue is the hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” fluid used in the creation of natural gas wells. The process involves injecting huge volumes of water laced with benzene and hundreds of other toxic chemicals, deep into the earth. Although the chemicals are injected well below the water table, as much as 60% of the fluid is later recovered and sometimes stored above ground in open pits. There is growing evidence that hydraulic fracturing poses a great threat to groundwater quality and public health.

Benzene, an organic solvent linked to several rare and debilitating blood disorders such as aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, and acute myelogenous leukemia, is just one of the hundreds of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluid.

As the saying goes, haste makes waste.  I don’t know whether or not the E.P.A., be it State or Federal have access to the chemicals that the different companies use in their fracturing process? Further, just how does the industry store the waste product? Is it left in the ground during the process, is it forced out by the gas pressure? What’s in this witch’s brew? No longer can the industry nor the authorities hide behind the past, well don’t have any adverse information, etc. Lax enforcement or rubber stamp enforcement can no longer be tolerated today. I don’t understand the Industries reluctance to ensuring their operations are safe beyond a reasonable doubt. Considering the downsides out weigh the positive effects as to health issues, then it should be more important to the industry to prove the process is indeed as safe as they say, beyond the old standby of trust us.

We have been drilling gas wells in Chautauqua County NY for over 100 years.  And we have used hydraulic fracturing for about 60 years. 

We have over 3000 gas wells in the county - most of which have been hydraulically fractured.

Far from being a wasteland, we are a vacation destination.  We have none of the (seemingly inevitable) destruction that Lustgaten, Fox, et. al. insist are part of gas drilling.

ProPublica’s spectacular conflagration of issues has lead people to believe gas migration (a legitimate concern- principally related to well contstruction) is somehow related to hydraulic fracturing.

I have repeatedly commented on ProPublica, demanding better delineation between problems associated with well construction vs. those associated with hydraulic fracturing.

Those of us involved in the industry do not have any qualms with strong regulatory demands - precisely what the NY Department of Environmental Quality has developed via the GEIS & SGEIS process.

We have had a defacto moratorium on “large volume hydraulic fracturing” since the inception of the SGEIS process in the summer of 2008.

Senator Antoine Thompson states that he needs more time to become educated on the risks of hydraulic fracturing.  I have extended a personal invitation to Senator Thompson to provide technical well construction training.  I hope that he will accept the offer.

Mr. Lustgarten -  In your “why gas leaks mater” article, you explicitly state that none of your articles have reached a conclusion that hydraulic fracturing is associated with subsurface migration of fluids from the target horizon to the aquifer.  You claim to merely be posing the question - but you have always posed that question in the form of an answer.

ProPublica could have turned this into an honest analysis of well construction standards - but chose not to.

ProPublica is clearly advocacy journalism - not investigative journalism.  Your results speak volumes on your effectiveness.

I’m guessing that Lustgarten has little sympathy for the few remaining New Yorkers left in the drilling business that would be affected by this ban - even though the ban will only affect those engaged in traditional drilling / fracturing.

Perhaps NY should put its money where its mouth is - and invoke a ban on importing hydraulically fractured gas into NY.

typo - Department of Environmental Conservation - not “Quality”.

Victor Kovacs

Aug. 5, 2010, 7:06 a.m.

The hue and cry from the ‘poor beleaugered’ Gas and Oil Lobby continues. My how reasonable and benign you make the pumping of tanker truckloads of toxic carcinogens into the water table sound, David. Benzenes and toluenes into the drinking water and the watershed, why nothing to worry about. Just look at the track record of the O&G Industry around the world and you can see what a well managed industry it truly is.

Bottom line: You make a lot of money destroying the environment and poisoning the watershed and so it is expected that you will toe the line of the O&G Lobby and repeat the lies and bland assurances they have scripted for you. That’s your job and your livelihood and hey, everybody’s got to make a buck, right? Just don’t expect us to believe anything you or your corporate masters say because the record of lies from your industry speak volumes.

There is a firestorm brewing in this country against fracking and there is no stopping it.

Victor,  I know I shouldn’t say this, but then, I can’t seem to stop commenting here,  your humor is not lost on this one. It seems that you & I are in agreement, which could conceivably be construed as a movement. Sort of like that song “Alice’s Restaurant” that Arlo Guthrie sang years ago. Hats off to you.

Victor - so we should outlaw natural gas? 

I’m guessing nobody will have a problem permitting nuclear plants in NY.

Or maybe we can rely completely on clean coal and imported petroleum.

David, “There you go again” throw a bogeyman into the discussion. Free speech, all say their piece, regardless of what it entails. Factoids are a different mind set, yet when they (factoids) run out, or are questioned, then the “bogeyman” is thrust into the pot. Resorting to scare tactics to bolster your point of view, is disingenuous, implying that as your stated factoids are picked apart, desperation sets in. Just my thoughts here.

Isn’t it loverly that our starry-eyed politicos can tinker with an operating entity which they adnittedky don’t understand, and do it thru the security of the legislative process??

Let them first invest a good percentage of their own money in the operation, and see what that does for their learning curve.  Much of NYS has unique geology - it should be quite predictable

Victor Kovacs

Aug. 5, 2010, 8:05 a.m.

Why does it not surprise me that someone on the payroll of Big Oil can only think in terms of one polluting industry over another. The answer isn’t nuclear waste dumps over mountaintop removal over watershed contamination. The answer lies in sustainable, renewable energy. Our nation went from zero to the moon in less than a decade so please do not cry me a river about how that can’t be done. The biggest obstacle towards the research, development and implementation of renewable energy is your industry because your greed trumps the common good of all people. The good news is that things are changing and your industry is being exposed for what it is and if you think people mistrust and despise Big Oil now, buddy you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Norman, you can get anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant. Welcome to the movement!

I think David’s invitation to Senator Thompson was a positive move but unfortunately it was wasted on the good Senator, as he already had his mind made up on the issue and the facts be damned, much like poor Mr Kovacs here. 

It reminds me an incident several years ago when I led a tour of local high school students on a facility I was working at in Chicago’s West side. The mostly Hispanic high school seniors were touring our facility and we were explaining the various processes and equipment that made the plant run when one of the students asked “why we built this plant so close them”? She further speculated that the reason we did this was because “it was easier to poison black and brown people” and “that’s why dirty industry moves into low income neighborhoods”. I promptly took the kids over to look at an aerial photograph of the plant taken shortly after its construction in the early 1930’s. I pointed to the vast farm fields surrounding the plant and then explained to her that until the late 1950’s, our only neighbors were farmers, followed by eastern European immigrants and then Central American immigrants in the 1980’s. I then quite bluntly asked here where she heard this load of bull from and nearly all the kids looked over at their teacher. I said, “yeah, that’s kind of what I thought” and we continued the tour. 

Facts often have a way of acting as a detergent to the piles of mud thrown by poorly educated, ignorant, and in many cases downright deceptive activists.

Perhaps David could extend his invitation to visit a drilling site to Lustgarten and Propublica?

“Our nation went from zero to the moon in less than a decade so please do not cry me a river about how that can’t be done.”

Building one rocket (that used quite a bit of non-renewable energy) is easier and cheaper than replacing all the oil, gas and nuclear energy used by 300 million Americans.

Funny you mention Alice’s restaurant. Didn’t Arlo get nailed for littering? I’ll bet Alice has a gas range.

Mike H. the desperation in your tone is bursting out of the bag. Your next to last para is rather demeaning, whether or not you see it. You have moved yourself into the league of ex-Senator Simpson when he spoke of the lessor people. As to visiting a drilling site, well, it’s S.O.P. in the O & G industry to stage any of the so called “Come look see how clean & safe our operation is”. Perhaps you can inform all us, including the poorly educated, ignorant deceptive activists, what it is that you & your industry do, to neutralize the waste products left over after production?  Taking a stab at Lustgarten is fair game in my opinion, but Pro Publica, they have provided this platform for this debate to take place. Granted, there appears to be a limited # of us commenting, but I would venture a wager that there are many readers on the sidelines paying attention.

Erich Riesenberg

Aug. 5, 2010, 9:47 a.m.

Congratulations New York and congratulations America.

Victor Kovacs

Aug. 5, 2010, 9:50 a.m.

JJinCO, I think you’re confusing the actual research and development of the space program with Andy Griffith’s short-lived TV series ‘Salvage 1’. There are a lot of informative books on the subject at your local library that would explain to you, some in painstaking detail, what actually went into “building one rocket”. You might be surprised to learn that the technology involved in “building one rocket” didn’t exist at the outset of the space program and our nation’s best minds responded to the challange and proved wrong all the naysayers. I guess if it was left up to you then we’d all be squatting in a cold cave somewhere in Northern Europe telling each other not to rub two sticks together because fire could not possibly be made and controlled by humans. As for me I’ll pin my future, and the future of my children, on those who move us to a world without a dependence on polluting energy corporations. In the meantime I, and millions of Americans, will fight against the contamination of the watershed through risky and unregulated fracking practices.

Norman, desperation in my tone? You shouldn’t read emotion into comments on website, its more of an exercise in self projection on your part than an example of your unique powers of emotional divination. I also don’t know how many times I have to repeat that I am not in the O&G industry and have no financial stake in it. It is my understanding that some of the fracturing fluids are reused, some are permanently reinjected into deep wells and some is sent to waste treatment.

If you take my comments to be “demeaning” I would once again ask to stop projecting. I wouldn’t expect the general public to take such a high level of interest or have a good working knowledge of complex technical processes. Whats the point, right? But if someone, like our serially deluded Mr Kovacs here, is going to form such a strong definitive position on this, or any subject, it would be reasonable that they have at least a fundamental understanding of the all the relevant information. Not just what they saw in a 90 minute documentary on HBO.

If Lustgarten, or anyone else thinks that a visitor trip to a well might turn into a Potemkin village visit, I am sure that they could choose the site they want to visit on the day they go there. It would seem reasonable to me.

Victor Kovacs

Aug. 5, 2010, 10:46 a.m.

I guess if thinking that pumping benzene and toluene and about 500 other dangerous chemicals into the ground is not a very good idea is your definition of ‘delusional’ then I’m guilty as charged. This is an emotionally packed issue, Mike, because it impacts the lives of real people. It’s not just about sitting in a closed room poring over graphs and data like some classroom exercise. Come out of your bat cave and sit down with a family who ‘claims’ to have contaminated water. Look them in the eye and give them your soulless explanations about what a wonderful thing fracking is. You would rather spend time arguing over minutiae on the internet than deal with real, living, breathing humans who have the right not to have their clean water contaminated by the greed of the Oil and Gas Lobby. How sad is that?

Mr Kovacs,

I realize that you firmly believe watching a low budget 90 minute documentary about wicked corporate entities and all the wicked things they do qualifies you as expert but the reality ‘taint necessarily so.

And your point about “poring over graphs and data” is duly noted. After all, who needs facts when we have a low budget 90 minute documentary to tell us what we need to know.

I certainly hope for the sake of the planet as well as for your children (wont somebody PLEASE think of the children) you run home and disconnect your hot water heater and furnace. Its little sacrifices like these that show your commitment to a cleaner Gaia.

It’s a complex issue and concerns extend way beyond the general ‘safe vs unsafe debate’ of the fairly new technology.

Migrating birds in NYS and other animals do not understand the difference between natural water areas and poorly managed waste containment ponds (that do leach, evaporate, and splash chemicals into the environment).

Thousand of gallons of water are used and then contaminated with this process.  It cannot be treated and can no longer be used for drinking, bathing, cooking, watering crops, etc.  The waste is waste.

Obtaining this form of energy demands high volumes of other fossil fuels which pollute and damage air quality from transporting water to operating drilling equipment.  The industry advertising NG as ‘cleaner burning, domestic fuel’ is a biased ad campaign to sell their business. It’s not a ‘cradle to grave’ statement.

Traffic on local roads and the impact on their quality when hundreds of heavy load trucks run on them daily.  The burden for repair is not put on the O&G companies.

Law changes allowing more wells/sq mile without proper regulators to inspect that ones that are already in operation.

A history of O&G industry choosing contamination and subsequent fines over the cost of sufficient safety regulation and environmental responsibility.

On a side note, as an organic chemist, I know how nasty benzene is.  In fact, it is not allowed in my lab despite fume hoods to safely work in.  If that doesn’t make you think, they you are probably not paying attention.

Sheila ,Tioga County PA

Aug. 5, 2010, 11:58 a.m.

New York is showing the common sense and prudence that Pennsylvania lacked two years ago when the state legislatures and governor laid down and surrendered the state and her people to Big Oil and Gas. Money talked loud and clear and the get rich quick schemes enticed cashed strapped landholders.Two years later many have not seen those piles of money promised but instead have lost the use of their lands .

If anyone thinks they will be entitled to cheap or discounted gas ,think again. Just because the gas is extracted from the area does not mean you get it at discount. Gas companies are storing it until the price goes up.
The PA Guv’nor eased the way for the Powerful Big Oil and Gas companies by slashing our DEP’s funding thereby allowing the drillers open season on PA’s Marcellus Shale Play fields with little to no oversight .
Dimmock PA is just one situation of the devastation that occurs when rogue fly by night companies have been given the green light.
There are many more homes throughout the drilling areas that are experiencing problems with their well water,reports of dumping in farmer’s fields of spent toxic driller waste and in forests and most recently an explosion in Clearfield County Pa where toxic, pressurized deep well frack fluid spewed for over 10 hours unchecked contaminating   a nearby stream and the forest soils. This occurred because the drilling company did NOT adequately train those at the drilling site. There was no back up pressure safety valve in place and even the area was not prepped for the possibility of leaking toxic fluids as no soil skirting in place. Those workmen also did not report the explosion and the subsequent large volume run off to the proper authorities claiming that they had no phone number…...??? Probably more like they were trying to rig something up and cover their tracks ..thankfully there was no loss of life or injuries .

As in the Adirondacks the state forests of PA are vast and uninhabited. Much can happen without the knowledge of the public or those charged with overseeing to maintain the best environmental practices. Companies are here to make big profit and time is money. Get in get out is the fastest way of procuring big bucks and not worrying about all of the environmental procedures that just slows the profit down is the mindset some of these companies brought from Texas,Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Check out some of the areas out west that have been drilled to hell w/o any concern for conservation.
If we are not careful the state will get stuck cleaning up the mess made ,too, as gas companies are already balking at the idea of a gas tax with some of the funds earmarked for environment cleanup. So far our state legislatures are handing Big Gas Oil every town on a plate and not taxing.

New York is cash strapped as is PA but she is not lying down for a quick buck .

Thank you ,New York ,legislatures for realizing that safety is imperative . After all, that gas has been trapped for millions of years; it ain’t goin’ no where so what’s another year.
Take the time to make sure when the drilling is authorized it will be carried out with the best practices for New York’s water,soil,and her communities.

Victor Kovacs

Aug. 5, 2010, 12:29 p.m.

Mike, I was wrong about you. I thought you were a cold, soulless, empty technocrat but you really are quite emotional. Very emotional in defense of an industry and a practice that you claim to have no ties to whatsoever. I would be curious to know your true motivations since you have nothing to gain from this and are merely a disinterested party. I’ve laid out my motivations which you so cavalierly dismiss and belittle as ‘delusional’. So easy to dismiss someone who cares what happens to ordinary people with your so-called ‘facts’. What do your ‘facts’ say about the long term effects of millions of gallons of known hazardous chemicals introduced into the ground? You skirt that issue but yet you scold me with nonsense about ‘disconnecting my water heater’ as if that is what this issue is about.

I don’t believe your charade about you being an unemotional, disinterested third party only concerned with the ‘facts’ because as much as you deny it you are very emotionally attached to this issue for some mysterious reason. Even David Stein is not as emotional about this as you and he has my admiration because at least I know where he stands and why. He has a financial stake in this and although we disagree I can appreciate where he is coming from. With nothing more to go on I am left with the conclusion that you are nothing more than a troll with an axe to grind against Mr Lustgarten and Mr Fox. Have a nice day.

Brenda Fields

Aug. 5, 2010, 1:23 p.m.

Can you please tell me what this renewable energy source is.  I like to know what our cars, trucks, buses, planes, trains will be running on and how I will be heating my home.

Please tell me what company is coming up with this because I would love to invest with them.

Mike H.  Please except my humble apologies if I have offended your id here. As for projecting, my o my. You must be a shrink then by trade. You really are feeling the pressure, not just from my comments, but also of others. You repeat you have no stake in the O & G industry, but haven’t stated why you write like a shill. Are you in P.R.? If so, be honest about it & inform the rest of us.

Let’s ban oil and gas sales to New York.  The NIMBY’s of this country should not benefit from the efforts of others.  I wish California and New York bordered each other.  Then they could make a new country and stop dragging down the rest of the us.

Agendas. Seems like everyone has agendas and we really can’t take anything on its face value these days. While I’m not opposed to drilling in general, I do think they need to make sure the environment isn’t getting trashed. I live in the NW, near one of the largest EPA sites in the country, the Silver Valley of Idaho. Once, the largest silver mining region in the world. We’ve seen smelters go for years without filters, streams and rivers so polluted you can’t even get plant or fish life. Heck, Coeur d’ Alene Lake, into which the Silver Valley river water flows is so polluted that there are warnings on how many fish you should eat weekly out of the lake for fear of lead and other mineral poisoning. Did the mining companies of yore pay for this multi-decade clean-up? Hell no, you and I did. So I am no supporter of corp. America as they will get away with whatever we let them get away with. This all said, many environmental activists it seems would like the world to not have one tree cut (even though it makes healthier forests) or rock extracted, which is equally ridiculous, IMHO. The problem is ‘agendas’ and how it slants people’s opinions -whether it is the O&G industry and its over-riding profit goal at the expense of, well anything, or Al Gore and his phony act about caring for the environment. If we all just did our own due diligence we’d realize that agendas trump the truth nearly every time.

I am amused by the naivete of the commentors.  There will be drilling and fracking in New York.  The passage of this bill by the New York State Senate (and its subsequent passage by the Assembly, to be sure) sets the stage for the payoffs which the O&G industry will be required to make to legislators in order to have the ban lifted.  They weren’t going to let the Governor alone shake down O&G.  This is how business is done in the second-most corrupt state in the Union (after Illinois.)

Hank Blackstock

Aug. 5, 2010, 3:25 p.m.

As an oil & gas producer in Oklahoma I appaud any effort to curtail drilling in other states since it will only serve to increase the price of my products. Ka-ching ;)

My family has been involved with hydrocarbon exploration and extraction worldwide for 50+ years. It boils down to this: finding deposits is approaching an exact science, recovery remains an art and a gamble. Let all who enter the casino do so with their eyes open and the best data.

I think this is great…please ban all of the hydraulic fracturing nationwide.  I am long natural gas in the futures market and am looking forward to capitalism work!

Jim Robertson

Aug. 6, 2010, 6:33 a.m.

There is a new Technology availible now that can clean all the fluid used when hydraulically fracking a well, without the use of any chemicals. I read about it in the news. They are using it now to clean the water from the BP spill in the gulf. I looked the company up on the net and it is for real. One of the uses stated on their site was to clean frac water. Look it up it is called Echosphere Technologies, it could be answer to part of the problems you are talking about.

Joe V.s comment is the only one that hits the nail on the head.  However, he forgot to include Pa as one of the most corrupt states.  Believe me, the pols here have forgotten more about corruption than any other set of scumbags in office.  Don’t forget where the oil industry got its’ start- Titusville, Pa.

Jim Robertson,  I looked at the Echosphere Technologies site,  it looks nice, though there doesn’t seem to be any factoids there but what they promote, (P.R.), It remains to be seen whether or not their process works. Great if it does, as that’s what science works to achieve.

I have to make a comment about the disposal of by-products. Every so often, disposers are caught dumping waste products into storm drains, abandoned holes in the ground, even on open fields. This illegal dumping has a motive, “costs”. This is not to imply what is going on only in the Fracturing business, as it goes on in every toxic waste product from manufacturing process.

There is a plan to ship Tar Sands in slurry form, from Canada to the U.S., by way of a pipeline to some destination to be processed in the removal of the oil from the sand. This is not a simple process, and it produces an enormous amount of excess water waste, which can’t be reused. I don’t know what Canada does with its waste by-product, but we certainly don’t need it exported to the U.S. Considering the costs of treating/disposal, we’re talking $Millions here, and what do we do with all the water? I might also add, the the slurry will corrode the pipeline, requiring a system of sensor/monitors in case of a breach. How much of the slutty will pour out onto the ground, is a big question mark. If they buried the pipe line, no telling the damage caused. Fortunately, a moratorium has been placed on this Idea. I begs the question; just what do these people who come up with these ideas use for common sense beyond the end product profits? The construction cost of such a pipeline and refinery, will be enormous, which also begs to answer why should we be footing the bill for this operation? It’s quite obvious that the O & G industry wields much clout, but we as a nation have to move on with renewable sources of energy, not the same-o same-o. We have the ability & technology, the O & G that has been the main stay, has to give way to the new. The mind set has to changed before the polution reaches the Rubicon.

Sorry in advance to those that think I’m a against their interests, but this is the 21st Century, the population of the World is growing, Water is not something that can be magically produced, so, everyone needs to realize that fact. So, before we allow the poisoning of our precious life giving water, ask yourselves this question: “what are you & your family going to drink if all the water is poisoned in your area?

Norman, my motivations were made quite clear. I am an interested outside observer, nothing more.

“There is a plan to ship Tar Sands in slurry form, from Canada to the U.S., by way of a pipeline to some destination to be processed in the removal of the oil from the sand. This is not a simple process, and it produces an enormous amount of excess water waste, which can’t be reused. I don’t know what Canada does with its waste by-product, but we certainly don’t need it exported to the U.S. Considering the costs of treating/disposal, we’re talking $Millions here, and what do we do with all the water? I might also add, the slurry will corrode the pipeline”

Oh Norman, like so much of what has been written here, this too is riddled with half truths and bad information. Not that I am surprised, mind you, outfits like the NRDC and Greenpeace (to name a few) have motivations to keep their readers ignorant.

I am assuming the pipe line you refer to is the $12 billion Keystone Pipeline project as that’s the largest active pipeline project relating to the Alberta tar sand production. To the best of my knowledge, we are not “footing” the bill for this project and it is being financed by TransCanada.

The two processes by which oil is extracted from tar sands are, in fact, quite simple. The first process injects steam into bitumen deposits whereby the oil is liberated from the sand and flows to a production well. The second process in closer to strip mining where overburden is removed, and the bitumen is sent to processing facilities where steam is used to separate the oil from the sand. Most of the steam is recovered and reused. Water that is not reclaimed is treated and released according to Canadian water regulations.

NONE of what is sent via pipeline to the States contains water in it and pipelines are regularly inspected internally with high tech pigs that can measure and record wall thickness as they travel through the pipelines. Refinery upgrades are already well underway to handle the tar sand oil.

Considering your lack of working knowledge of the Alberta tar sands and this pipeline project, its no wonder you are similarly confused about hydro fracking.

Mike H., Norman,

I have visited drill/frack/seismic sites, both in western NY and northern PA.

Yup, bad stuff happens, I have seen it, I have spoken with people impacted and some who are working together in a consolidated action against a driller.

In short, all the horror stories are essentially true. I plan to testify to some of this at the upcomming EPA hearings - based on real data from real site visits.

Stan Scobie, Binghamton, NY

Mike H. Thanks for you P.R. Because if you can’t produce links to your supposedly outside opinions, then it leaves myself & others to think you are a shill or troll. Either way, some of what you write are industry P.R.  As for the PIG & the pipeline, you don’t impress when you continually read from the script. Obviously, you have a vested interest from somewhere that has to continually debunk if you can, any opposition. I’m afraid that the plan for tar sands you mention, is not the one that has been put on hold mentioned by the Government. But, of course, your just an outside interested party. You, missed the whole point of my words. It indeed had to do with water, which at last look, that’s the main source of fracturing, is it not?

Mike, even oil corrodes pipe lines. The Industry will let the maintenance go out of cost to the bottom line.

Bitumen, If I’m not mistaken,  requires an insulated steam or electric insulation blanket on the pipe line, otherwise it’s to heavy to flow easily. Also, if the pipe line heating fails anywhere along the line, especially in winter, Viola, a plug, that no pig can dislodge. I believe also, that it’s comparable to the “Bottoms” from a fractionation of crude into salable products. I might also add, that this bottoms product from the fractionation of crude, also carries fines, or catalyst resid used in the cracking process. We called it bunker fuel, which is good for burning in ocean going ships. I really question how you can say that there isn’t any sand/silica included in the Bitumen? Are you implying that perhaps the Bitumen will be shipped diluted with Steam? If so, then there’s water within. There is so many questions to be answered just in that scheme alone. But, we are discussing Fracturing & the use of water. Have you any proof or factoids about what is done with that water? Stop with the there is no known incidences.

Now, you take pride in your knowing more than I, so I shall give you this tid-bit to ponder, I retired from the O & G industry, worked for one of the “Sisters”, am fully aware of product, and don’t assume that you are confused, except to state that you believe your own P.R., which has holes in it. 

This whole exercise has revolved around the fracturing process & its use of water. So, I post a question to you, would you let your family live on polluted land, drink water from a well on that land next to your house, while in the back yard some company is fracture drilling? What about next to the school your children go to? As we are finding out, the regulations are usually written by the industry they are meant to regulate. Contributions, gifts, trips, etc. have been brought out in way too many investigations of the agency’s that are supposed to be guarding from the industry pulling a fast one on the public. Try the MMS & the Fish & game in the Interior Department, probably various state agencies too. This should give you pause to ponder why people today have the attitudes that they do. If your so concerned as a citizen, then you should be working to make sure that the rules cover all contingencies, not just the Hey, It’s safe, because we say so.

Clearly this is an issue that needs to be addressed with the necessary environmental concern and economic consideration that is not just for that of the present but also for that of future generations.  Most importantly, it needs to be approached with a clear and open mind.

The potential benefits of this shale play include…
1.  The potential for hundreds of billions if not a trillion dollars of economic stimulation (keeping in mind that much of that goes to company profits)
2.  The potential to create thousands of new jobs
3.  The development of the cleanist fossil fuel of the three, which will help to mitigate some of impact on the climate.
4.  A move towards “energy independence” (personally I don’t like this particular term)

On the other side with the potential concerns are
1.  The adverse effects of the chemicals used in fracing
2.  Potential groundwater contamination
3.  Potential for air pollution
4.  Ecosystems destruction
5.  Road degredation

To me, each side has valid points that everyone can agree on.  What seems to be the issue here is the degree to which the industry will be regulated.  You are ABSOLUTELY lying to yourself and others if you think and say that an appropriate middle-ground has been reached by all sides concerned with this issue.

Personally, I don’t see any problem with increased regulation.  I do see a problem with the exemptions the natural gas industry has from the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Superfund Law, and Clean Air Act.  If there truly is nothing to fear about the ENTIRE natural gas drilling process, then the industry should welcome this huge publicity via regulation and inspection with open arms; if anything they could finally prove to the public that the process is safe, and we wouldn’t just have to take their word for it, like we believed the MMS and BP.  For an industry that touts the generation of jobs, shouldn’t they support increased regulation which would create jobs in that respect (or does a double-standard apply?)

Additionally, if a significant portion of the public calls for a review on this process then it must be done, regardless what a few companies say.  Last time I checked, power was SUPPOSED to be derived in America from the people; so the multi-million to billion dollar profits the gas companies are making can take a back seat.  It’s the “better safe that sorry” mentallity.  I mean after all, those of us who can afford insurance buy it for that “just-in-case” scenario?  Sure the chances of a car accident, flooding, or hospitalization are small, but we have anyway don’t we?  If probabilty dictates disgression we should all stop buying insurance.  All we’re asking for is some assurance, through a non-biased, well-funded study, that this process is safe.  I know people in the gas industry may be affected by the temporary loss of work, but they chose to work in that field; you can’t pick where you get your drinking water from (and if you make the argument to move to a different place I would say those workers affected by the ban should just pick a different job).

There is no doubt in my mind that the Marcellus Shale we be developed.  We have too severe an addiction to fossil-fuel based energy for such a large energy source to be left untapped.  However, at the end of the day natural gas is still a non-renewable resource, and if we continue to burn in a few decades what took hundreds of millions of years to form without the intention of transitioning to a sustainable future, we WILL be in BIG trouble.  It’s not like we can just transition to a sustainable infrastructure overnight once that gas runs out.  As a result, this resource needs to be developed as a TRANSITIONAL ENERGY SOURCE with the attention of achieving a sustainable future.

http://www.thinkorswim.ie/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/big-hoax-cartoon.jpg (one of my favorite cartoons).

Ultimately it’s not the current generation in power that’s going to have to deal with major problems of today (not that a multi-trillion dollar deficit, deteriorating US global image, lack of a renewable infrastructure, etc. etc. are enough), but it will be MY generation.  That being said, I really don’t appreciate the lack consideration for my future as we approach this issue like it’s the next California Gold Rush (take as much as you can, as quickly as you can, without regard or hesitation).

We are never going to make any progress working against each other. The only way forward is through responsible cooperation, which if done properly will generate hundreds of billions of dollars in economic stimulation.  We cannot afford to compromise this fragile blue planet hurdling through space at thousands of miles an hour.  We depend on this planet to survive; not the other way around.  If we continue to believe that we can dominate over nature to fuel our own addictions… well we’re pretty much screwed.

Clearly this is an issue that needs to be addressed with the necessary environmental concern and economic consideration that is not just for that of the present but also for that of future generations.  Most importantly, it needs to be approached with a clear and open mind.

The potential benefits of this shale play include…
1.  The potential for hundreds of billions if not a trillion dollars of economic stimulation (keeping in mind that much of that goes to company profits)
2.  The potential to create thousands of new jobs
3.  The development of the cleanist fossil fuel of the three, which will help to mitigate some of impact on the climate.
4.  A move towards “energy independence” (personally I don’t like this particular term)

On the other side with the potential concerns are
1.  The adverse effects of the chemicals used in fracing
2.  Potential groundwater contamination
3.  Potential for air pollution
4.  Ecosystems destruction
5.  Road degredation

To me, each side has valid points that everyone can agree on.  What seems to be the issue here is the degree to which the industry will be regulated.  You are ABSOLUTELY lying to yourself and others if you think and say that an appropriate middle-ground has been reached by all sides concerned with this issue.

Personally, I don’t see any problem with increased regulation.  I do see a problem with the exemptions the natural gas industry has from the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Superfund Law, and Clean Air Act.  If there truly is nothing to fear about the ENTIRE natural gas drilling process, then the industry should welcome this huge publicity via regulation and inspection with open arms; if anything they could finally prove to the public that the process is safe, and we wouldn’t just have to take their word for it, like we believed the MMS and BP.  For an industry that touts the generation of jobs, shouldn’t they support increased regulation which would create jobs in that respect (or does a double-standard apply?)

Additionally, if a significant portion of the public calls for a review on this process then it must be done, regardless what a few companies say.  Last time I checked, power was SUPPOSED to be derived in America from the people; so the multi-million to billion dollar profits the gas companies are making can take a back seat.  It’s the “better safe that sorry” mentallity.  I mean after all, those of us who can afford insurance buy it for that “just-in-case” scenario?  Sure the chances of a car accident, flooding, or hospitalization are small, but we have anyway don’t we?  If probabilty dictates disgression we should all stop buying insurance.  All we’re asking for is some assurance, through a non-biased, well-funded study, that this process is safe.  I know people in the gas industry may be affected by the temporary loss of work, but they chose to work in that field; you can’t pick where you get your drinking water from (and if you make the argument to move to a different place I would say those workers affected by the ban should just pick a different job).

There is no doubt in my mind that the Marcellus Shale we be developed.  We have too severe an addiction to fossil-fuel based energy for such a large energy source to be left untapped.  However, at the end of the day natural gas is still a non-renewable resource, and if we continue to burn in a few decades what took hundreds of millions of years to form without the intention of transitioning to a sustainable future, we WILL be in BIG trouble.  It’s not like we can just transition to a sustainable infrastructure overnight once that gas runs out.  As a result, this resource needs to be developed as a TRANSITIONAL ENERGY SOURCE with the attention of achieving a sustainable future.

http://www.thinkorswim.ie/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/big-hoax-cartoon.jpg (one of my favorite cartoons).

Ultimately it’s not the current generation in power that’s going to have to deal with major problems of today (not that a multi-trillion dollar deficit, deteriorating US global image, lack of a renewable infrastructure, etc. etc. are enough), but it will be MY generation.  That being said, I really don’t appreciate the lack consideration for my future as we approach this issue like it’s the next California Gold Rush (take as much as you can, as quickly as you can, without regard or hesitation).

We are never going to make any progress working against each other. The only way forward is through responsible cooperation, which if done properly will generate hundreds of billions of dollars in economic stimulation.  We cannot afford to compromise this fragile blue planet hurdling through space at thousands of miles an hour.  We depend on this planet to survive; not the other way around.  If we continue to believe that we can dominate over nature to fuel our own addictions… well… yea…

Clearly this is an issue that needs to be addressed with the necessary environmental concern and economic consideration that is not just for that of the present but also for that of future generations.  Most importantly, it needs to be approached with a clear and open mind.

The potential benefits of this shale play include…
1.  The potential for hundreds of billions if not a trillion dollars of economic stimulation (keeping in mind that much of that goes to company profits)
2.  The potential to create thousands of new jobs
3.  The development of the cleanist fossil fuel of the three, which will help to mitigate some of impact on the climate.
4.  A move towards “energy independence” (personally I don’t like this particular term)

On the other side with the potential concerns are
1.  The adverse effects of the chemicals used in fracing
2.  Potential groundwater contamination
3.  Potential for air pollution
4.  Ecosystems destruction
5.  Road degredation

To me, each side has valid points that everyone can agree on.  What seems to be the issue here is the degree to which the industry will be regulated.  You are ABSOLUTELY lying to yourself and others if you think and say that an appropriate middle-ground has been reached by all sides concerned with this issue.

Personally, I don’t see any problem with increased regulation.  I do see a problem with the exemptions the natural gas industry has from the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Superfund Law, and Clean Air Act.  If there truly is nothing to fear about the ENTIRE natural gas drilling process, then the industry should welcome this huge publicity via regulation and inspection with open arms; if anything they could finally prove to the public that the process is safe, and we wouldn’t just have to take their word for it, like we believed the MMS and BP.  For an industry that touts the generation of jobs, shouldn’t they support increased regulation which would create jobs in that respect (or does a double-standard apply?)

Additionally, if a significant portion of the public calls for a review on this process then it must be done, regardless what a few companies say.  Last time I checked, power was SUPPOSED to be derived in America from the people; so the multi-million to billion dollar profits the gas companies are making can take a back seat.  It’s the “better safe that sorry” mentallity.  I mean after all, those of us who can afford insurance buy it for that “just-in-case” scenario?  Sure the chances of a car accident, flooding, or hospitalization are small, but we have anyway don’t we?  If probabilty dictates disgression we should all stop buying insurance.  All we’re asking for is some assurance, through a non-biased, well-funded study, that this process is safe.  I know people in the gas industry may be affected by the temporary loss of work, but they chose to work in that field; you can’t pick where you get your drinking water from (and if you make the argument to move to a different place I would say those workers affected by the ban should just pick a different job).

There is no doubt in my mind that the Marcellus Shale we be developed.  We have too severe an addiction to fossil-fuel based energy for such a large energy source to be left untapped.  However, at the end of the day natural gas is still a non-renewable resource, and if we continue to burn in a few decades what took hundreds of millions of years to form without the intention of transitioning to a sustainable future, we WILL be in BIG trouble.  It’s not like we can just transition to a sustainable infrastructure overnight once that gas runs out.  As a result, this resource needs to be developed as a TRANSITIONAL ENERGY SOURCE with the attention of achieving a sustainable future.

http://www.thinkorswim.ie/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/big-hoax-cartoon.jpg (one of my favorite cartoons).

Ultimately it’s not the current generation in power that’s going to have to deal with major problems of today (not that a multi-trillion dollar deficit, deteriorating US global image, lack of a renewable infrastructure, etc. etc. are enough), but it will be MY generation.  That being said, I really don’t appreciate the lack consideration for my future as we approach this issue like it’s the next California Gold Rush (take as much as you can, as quickly as you can, without regard or hesitation).

We are never going to make any progress working against each other. The only way forward is through responsible cooperation, which if done properly will generate hundreds of billions of dollars in economic stimulation.  We cannot afford to compromise this fragile blue planet hurdling through space at thousands of miles an hour.  We depend on this planet to survive; not the other way around.  If we continue to believe that we can dominate over nature to fuel our own addictions without consequences… well… yea

Clearly this is an issue that needs to be addressed with the necessary environmental concern and economic consideration that is not just for that of the present but also for that of future generations.  Most importantly, it needs to be approached with a clear and open mind.

To me, each side has valid points that everyone can agree on.  What seems to be the issue here is the degree to which the industry will be regulated.  You are ABSOLUTELY lying to yourself and others if you think and say that an appropriate middle-ground has been reached by all sides concerned with this issue.

Personally, I don’t see any problem with increased regulation.  I do see a problem with the exemptions the natural gas industry has from the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Superfund Law, and Clean Air Act.  If there truly is nothing to fear about the ENTIRE natural gas drilling process, then the industry should welcome this huge publicity via regulation and inspection with open arms; if anything they could finally prove to the public that the process is safe, and we wouldn’t just have to take their word for it, like we believed the MMS and BP.  For an industry that touts the generation of jobs, shouldn’t they support increased regulation which would create jobs in that respect (or does a double-standard apply?)

Additionally, if a significant portion of the public calls for a review on this process then it must be done, regardless what a few companies say.  Last time I checked, power was SUPPOSED to be derived in America from the people; so the multi-million to billion dollar profits the gas companies are making can take a back seat.  It’s the “better safe that sorry” mentallity.  I mean after all, those of us who can afford insurance buy it for that “just-in-case” scenario?  Sure the chances of a car accident, flooding, or hospitalization are small, but we have anyway don’t we?  If probabilty dictates disgression we should all stop buying insurance.  All we’re asking for is some assurance, through a non-biased, well-funded study, that this process is safe.  I know people in the gas industry may be affected by the temporary loss of work, but they chose to work in that field; you can’t pick where you get your drinking water from (and if you make the argument to move to a different place I would say those workers affected by the ban should just pick a different job).

There is no doubt in my mind that the Marcellus Shale we be developed.  We have too severe an addiction to fossil-fuel based energy for such a large energy source to be left untapped.  However, at the end of the day natural gas is still a non-renewable resource, and if we continue to burn in a few decades what took hundreds of millions of years to form without the intention of transitioning to a sustainable future, we WILL be in BIG trouble.  It’s not like we can just transition to a sustainable infrastructure overnight once that gas runs out.  As a result, this resource needs to be developed as a TRANSITIONAL ENERGY SOURCE with the attention of achieving a sustainable future.

Ultimately it’s not the current generation in power that’s going to have to deal with major problems of today (not that a multi-trillion dollar deficit, deteriorating US global image, lack of a renewable infrastructure, etc. etc. are enough), but it will be MY generation.  That being said, I really don’t appreciate the lack consideration for my future as we approach this issue like it’s the next California Gold Rush (take as much as you can, as quickly as you can, without regard or hesitation).

We are never going to make any progress working against each other. The only way forward is through responsible cooperation, which if done properly will generate hundreds of billions of dollars in economic stimulation.  We cannot afford to compromise this fragile blue planet hurdling through space at thousands of miles an hour.  We depend on this planet to survive; not the other way around.  If we continue to believe that we can dominate over nature to fuel our own addictions… well we’re pretty much screwed.

Mike H – I debated adding this in cause I don’t want to start attacking other people, but I changed my mind.  You elementary school tactic of “I am going to prove I am right by proving you are wrong” isn’t the best approach, and doesn’t exactly prove your right at the end of the conversation.

Stan Scobie,  Glad to read what you write. Good luck.

Norm, I “can’t” produce links because Propublica moderates any post with a link in it as spam and wont allow them to be published. Try it, insert a link and see the message that the comment has been moderated.
I am quite sorry my script doesn’t impress, I’ll try better in the future. I don’t take any “pride” in knowing more than you; I actually find it quite awkward that I have to explain such simple concepts to anyone when the information is so readily available.
With regard to you pipeline example, it does not make any sense. Pipeline companies, most of whom operate outside the normal vertical integration structures seen in the O&G industry, charge by volume transported. Are you really under the impression that there is a proposed pipeline project that is going to transport unprocessed bitumen, and not the syncrude refined from it, from tar sand fields in Alberta to refineries in the lower 48? Do you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds?  Where did you get this from?
As for your question “would I allow my family to live on polluted land” the answer would be, depends on how “polluted” it was. Can you think of any metropolitan area in the country, or the world for that matter, that does not have some level of water/air/ground contamination from human activities? Since you were speaking of hydraulic fracturing specifically, would I lease my property to a gas driller? It depends on what the terms of that agreement was.
I would want to know things like what are your emergency planning and response plans, ho do you monitor activities on your site, how is your local decision making structure organized, how many times have you been cited and what were the violations, how long you would be on my property drilling, and how do you plan on compensating me if there is an accident. And all of this would be contingent on how much they were going to pay me. At the end of the day it’s all a cost risk analysis I would be comfortable making. 
Based on what I have read, both the relative and absolute risk (the REAL risk and not what has been manufactured by Friends of the Earth) seems to be quite low.

Mike, “There you go again”. Just where in the lower 48 are you referring too? You think I’m getting my information from Friends of the Earth? You think I sound ridiculous? Striking out, you are. You can’t seem to help yourself in this discussion when a question is posed to you by implying it is pure fantasy or from some organization. So, you keep denying any connection to any industry, public relations, paid shill, P.R. flak, other than to say your an outside person of interest. I believe that most of the comments written have been by honest people who are questioning the process. You on the other hand are speaking as if your defending/debunking any & all dissident comments. Perhaps your a Lawyer by trade, or a student practicing his courtroom thoughts. You don’t debunk a question by putting the person down, belittling them, now do you make your case when you spout industry talking points. But, being as it may, this back & forth with you has turned into a meaningless exercise of time, a waste of time if you may. It’s been educational I’m sure for all those on the side line, so, nice try, but no cigar. You cop out to much, & think too many people are like Simpson said, the lessor/little people. Your probably a Tea Party/Republican/Birther too. Have fun Mickie.

Ecosphere claims made to clean water -
I received the following supposedly from propublica. I checked the information and it is misleading. ERS
“There is a new Technology availible now that can clean all
> the fluid used
> when hydraulically fracking a well, without the use of any
> chemicals. I read
> about it in the news. They are using it now to clean the
> water from the BP
> spill in the gulf. I looked the company up on the net and
> it is for real.
> One of the uses stated on their site was to clean frac
> water. Look it up it
> is called Echosphere Technologies, it could be answer to
> part of the
> problems you are talking about.
>

ERS I’ll believe it when I see it.  The site shows little in technical ability. Only information technology.  Digital dreams will not clean water. ERS
FOUND ON BLOOMBERG
  Company Overview
Echosphere Technologies, Inc. offers market analysis, solution design, and systems installation and support services to municipal and utility sectors. It engages in the areas of geographic information system and related domains, including requirements analysis, data modeling, software development, training and documentation, installation and maintenance, and quality assurance. The company provides implementation services, such as data conversion, data capture, installation and configuration, system architecture, documentation, custom training, and on-site development; and consulting services, including introduction workshop, user requirements assessment, data inventory analysis, legacy-syste…

Echosphere Technologies, Inc. offers market analysis, solution design, and systems installation and support services to municipal and utility sectors. It engages in the areas of geographic information

about IT ServicesEchosphere Technologies Inc.
Ecosphere is allegged to making - claims made to clean water - ERS I’ll believe it when I see it.  The site shows little in technical ability. Only information technology.  Digital dreams will not clean water. ERS
FOUND ON BLOOMBERG
 
SnapshotPeople
Company Overview
Echosphere Technologies, Inc. offers market analysis, solution design, and systems installation and support services to municipal and utility sectors. It engages in the areas of geographic information system and related domains, including requirements analysis, data modeling, software development, training and documentation, installation and maintenance, and quality assurance. The company provides implementation services, such as data conversion, data capture, installation and configuration, system architecture, documentation, custom training, and on-site development; and consulting services, including introduction workshop, user requirements assessment, data inventory analysis, legacy-syste…

Echosphere Technologies, Inc. offers market analysis, solution design, and systems installation and support services to municipal and utility sectors. It engages in the areas of geographic information system and related domains, including requirements analysis, data modeling, software development, training and documentation, installation and maintenance, and quality assurance. The company

Edward, Edward Swick,  don’t know if you’re one & the same, or ??? I did read the same blurb, also their web site. Still, not anything to back up their being able to do what they advertise. So, until the proof is in the pudding, as they say, take it with a grain of salt.

I have read the posts and find most of them addressing various agenda’s.  As I understand the shouting it boils down to the presence of benzene in well water used for drinking.  The hypothesis is that the benzene present comes from the hydraulic fracturing “fracking” solutions.

My very first problem the ‘benzene in the drinking water.  How much benzene parts per million parts per billion in the drinking water,  Then who collected the sample and what type of container was used glass or plastic.  Where the proper sampling techniques used?  Was the sample split between three EPA CERTIFIED LABS.  Did each of these samples show benzene in the same concentration range.

Fracking solution.  Any of these solutions that are transported (see the DOT regs for specifics)  or used in industry has a MSDS Material Safety Data Sheet.  The major and minor ingredients are listed by chemical name and CAS number.  Benzene is one of those ingredients that is a known carcinogen both federally and by California and is required to be listed even if it is a trace material.

Alternately get a sample of the drilling fluid or spent fluid. Same analysis process in triplicate, EPA Certified Lab ect.

Now you BEGIN to have my attention.  But wait there is more.  There are alternate sources for benzene.  Example:  Two properties down from the well water source old farmer Jones had a junk yard for used cars and trucks from the late 20’s until the early 70’s Read; gasoline from the gas tanks dumped or leaked on the ground.  Another alternate source?

The “documentary’ on HBO.  Flaming drinking water.  I personally saw one of those back in the late 50’s before fracking and there were not any oil and gas wells in the area.

So what’s my agenda.  The truth and it is out there somewhere. 
W.

This article is part of an ongoing investigation:
Fracking

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat

The promise of abundant natural gas is colliding with fears about water contamination.

The Story So Far

The country’s push to find clean domestic energy has zeroed in on natural gas, but cases of water contamination have raised serious questions about the primary drilling method being used. Vast deposits of natural gas, large enough to supply the country for decades, have brought a drilling boom stretching across 31 states. The drilling technique being used, called hydraulic fracturing, shoots water, sand and toxic chemicals into the ground to break up rock and release the gas.

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