Journalism in the Public Interest

New Study Predicts Frack Fluids Can Migrate to Aquifers Within Years

A new study has raised fresh concerns about the safety of gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale, concluding that fracking chemicals injected into the ground could migrate toward drinking water supplies far more quickly than experts have previously predicted.

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Ray Bar

May 2, 2012, 9:40 p.m.

Mr. knapp is truely an idiot of the O&G powerpush!!!!
There are not millions of case studies as you previously stated!! You, pal, are a liar…...........


May 3, 2012, 7:24 a.m.

again, what is the study’s name?


May 3, 2012, 8:05 a.m.

Garcol Euphrates

May 3, 2012, 8:37 a.m.

Michael Knapp—

I appreciate your technology expertise and see that it is a crucual ingredient to valid decision making.

Computer models ARE models - not reality, this is true; however, it was computer models which developed the drill bit design for well boring; it is computer modeling which is used on a daily basis for planning drilling and production. Compute modeling is NOT empty nonsense.

What THIS (Myers’) article posits is that permeability and migration MAY NOT BE SO SIMPLE as propounded by industry supporters of HPHV horizontal-fracking, and that the RISKS to fresh water need to be seen as critical to a decision to continue this model of extraction.

John R

May 3, 2012, 8:50 a.m.

Inside man is a great hole.
Those men look for ways to take all they can. This of course is at the expense of other humans and the destruction of the environment.
It is ignorance of the individual, in the pursuit of filling up that great hole.

Destroying our ground water for fracking is filling the hole for the stockholders of those publicly traded companies. It is another way for them to line their pockets with profits. The long term effects of poisoned ground water for the coming generations means nothing to them.

Profit is all they see. Profit is their mantra. It is their religion. They will die for profits. These facts are sad but true. This generation of people do not have a memory of history nor an ability to understand long term effects.

Viola Perry

May 3, 2012, 8:52 a.m.

If fracking fluid is entering the water sources then we should be allowed to pour our used oil down the drain or in the yard.  Same thing! 
We have to protect our water, air so we can live healthy!


May 3, 2012, 9:38 a.m.

This is a theoretical study. The simple answer to this dilemma is to test the water that comes from the aquifer. If the evidence supports this theory, the cracking could be stopped. With the ice cap melting, sending water under ground seems to me a good thing, provided it does not impact the water supply people depend on.

Mark Crough

May 3, 2012, 11:23 a.m.

Until public officials and private industry are held criminally and civilly responsible for wittingly poisoning our air, water and soil they shall continue unabated toward furthering their collusive misdeeds until “Superfund” designation affords them absolution of culpability.

Their estates and assets should be seized and their progeny made indentured servants until restitution is realized.

James Northrup

May 3, 2012, 12:33 p.m.

If a horizontal frack hits a naturally occurring perpendicular fault that communicates with an aquifer, then of course it is going to pollute the water - just a matter of how soon and how much.

Horizontal fracking in areas with poorly mapped faults - such as central New York are simply an uncontrolled experiment - in polluting water.


May 3, 2012, 1:52 p.m.

in these forums if you take the position that fracking can potentially harm aquifers that supply drinking water you’re a “left wing tree hugging nutjob” even though your concern is for the welfare of all including “right wing war mongering nut jobs.”  i just don’t understand how someone can be critical of another person who is just trying to keep us all safe from industrial poisons and contaminants.  it’s like you’re saying that you want to keep us safe from terrorists but if you get sick and die from drinking bad well water well that’s just to bad.  don’t blame an energy company for your failure to buy bottled water.  pro life but anti life after you leave the womb.  pro life but anti clean water.  pro life but anti flowers and other living things.

Mike H

May 3, 2012, 2:30 p.m.

@ Garcol Euphrates

The computer models you cited have all been verified and validated by empirical data. The model cited in this article has not and very few models go from first draft to verification and validation without many revisions, that is if they even survive V&V.


May 3, 2012, 4:23 p.m.

Lee Raymond, one of Cheney’s Evil Doers, tried to keep Exxon out of Shale Gas in 2005 since retirement has recanted some what in general terms of all the bad things done in the name of OIL…he’s 75, we are waiting for his deathbed confession. He has hinted at it earlier!

We are worse than any country, shale gas water use (pollution) and we, Canada, is the fresh water of last resort…wake up, people!

Kevin Schmidt

May 3, 2012, 4:28 p.m.

It sure would be nice if we could have clean, safe water to drink without the fossil fuel and nuclear power companies polluting everything they touch, then lying about it and spouting propaganda and junk science. That is what is “beyond counterproductive”.

If there is no “evil oil baron for people to rage against”, then who are we raging against?

Who is causing Global Warming?
Who is causing mass extinctions?
Who is causing ecocide in the Gulf of Mexico?
Who is causing US imperialist war mongering in the Middle East?
Who is causing a global epidemic in cancer?
Who is poisoning our food supply with chemicals derived from oil?
Who is shortening our life spans in the US? (Now behind 48 countries)
Who is preventing alternative energy sources from being produced?

If not the “evil oil barons” then who is wreaking all of this havoc?

You’re right, it’s not the “evil oil barons” that are causing all the problems. That would be too simplistic and not a true depiction of reality. In fact, it is the FASCIST fossil fuel barons and nuclear power barons who are certainly to blame!

Kevin Schmidt

May 3, 2012, 4:35 p.m.


Before dick Cheney left the White House, he built his new house less than one mile (burrowing distance) from CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

The puppet master has not retired and is still pulling strings. He loves the fact that he no longer has to do his ventriloquist act when he pulls Obusha’s strings.

Michael S. Knapp

May 3, 2012, 4:41 p.m.

Your sensationalistic rhetoric is quite tiresome Mr. Schmidt.  There are no fascist fossil fuel barons, just companies made up of hundreds of thousands of individual hard working Americans who toil every day, many times in very harsh conditions, to bring you cheap, clean, reliable energy and providing the feedstock for just about every modern convenience that society enjoys today… including the convenience of posting misplaced venomous hyperbole on the internet.

Jane Davison

May 3, 2012, 8:39 p.m.

I don’t want my drinking eater polluted by this and I think despite the fact that it has been done since World War2, I think that we have to think about the impacks and that means that we can’t have any of the water polluted by this.
  We need to learn how to do other kinds of energy and leave the Marcellus Shale alone for the wildlife and even the hikers who go along the beautiful gorges like Watkins Glen. This is where most of this shale is and here we have to leave it alone as Seneca Lake and her sister lakes are treasures for us to behold.

Margaret Cullen

May 3, 2012, 9:05 p.m.

No evil greedy oil companies? Excuse me BP for one example makes billions a year and they don’t clean up anything. And we do need water to survive end of story.


May 3, 2012, 10:33 p.m.

Al-Queda hopes we use a very long rope to hang ourselves.  The longer we spend time and resources and and the more financially committed we become to this poison, the more pleasure they will exact from our plight.
Al-Queda loves to watch Americans exploit Americans for greed especially when the consequences are likely so dire.

Kimberly Vassallo

May 4, 2012, 7:06 a.m.

I really am impressed with the comments I’ve read. It comforts me to know that intelligent and articulate people are willing to make a stand against what amounts to corporate profits at the expense of common sense. I don’t pretend to be an expert on this subject just because I’ve watched GasLand( I’m sure Michael Knapp can tear this documentary apart), and listened to a presentation given by Dr. Ingraffea,a Civil and Engineering professor at Cornell. I do,however,give more credence to a scientist who is not making his living in the industry like you are Mr. Knapp! One fact is certain, the four technologies needed to unlock"Unconventional” fracking used to unleash the gas that’s uniformaly distributed in the shale requires billions of gallons of water! In case people haven’t heard, drinking water has become a real issue not only in the world, but also here in the U.S. Talk about short sighted.

Kimberly Vassallo

May 4, 2012, 7:19 a.m.

How about the billions of gallons of water that is used for “unconventional” fracking needed to extract the gas distributed uniformly in the shale? In case you didn’t know this Mr. Knapp, drinkable water is becoming an issue not only in the world,but also right here at home.

Michael S. Knapp

May 4, 2012, 7:39 a.m.


You’re right, I can tear Gasland to shreds.  But instead of that, since you want to point to where I get my paycheck, I’d like to point out for just a second that Tony Ingraffea is a noted anti-drilling activist.  has catapulted himself to fame (and plenty of funding) by working with Bob Howarth on the “gas is dirtier than coal” study that was rebuked by no less than 6 prominent research institutions (MIT, Carnegie Mellon, NETL…) and Josh Fox, the director of Gasland, just cashed a $750,000 check from HBO, and hundreds of thousands more from the Park Foundation.  The kid charges $7,500 + airfare to show up to speak at colleges, when before Gasland (which IS full of lies and distortions) he was an unknown theater director in NYC. 

Now, I know I’m a gas industry guy which means I have 11 toes and no soul, but you should be able to verify this.  Each gas well actually CREATES significantly more water than is uses, as the byproduct of one CH4 molecule is CO2 + 2 H2O post combustion.  So, “IN CASE YOU DIDNT KNOW THIS”, its a good idea to know what you’re talking about before you rush into a situation and start calling people short sighted and greedy, lying for their “paycheck”. 

The real facts about natural gas extraction are out there, but unfortunately it would seem that you’ll have to look beyond this site to find them.

Garcol Euphrates

May 4, 2012, 7:41 a.m.

@Mark H

I think that the POINT of modeling is to comprehend consequences; the models I used as examples had many iterations before they wer “validated”. The “validation” you are looking for would be apparent ONLY AFTER aquifer contamination had been proved, at which point your children or their children would be affected, and the clean water had been destroyed.
If you cannot consider the risks, you shouldn’t be an advocate, because you are not telling the complete story.
If you want to advocate “safe” fracking you need to support a policy of TIGHT monitoring for consequences and SPECIFIC remediation requirements for “accidents”.
If you do not support this minimal approach, then you demonstrate nothing more than the corrupt behavior of an O&G shill.

J Howard

May 4, 2012, 12:02 p.m.

While I have enjoyed many of the responses, it’s pointless to argue with Mr. Michael “I’m president of a fracking company” Knapp for what should be an obvious reason.  He probably truly believes the BS he spouts, or the money is enough to soothe his conscience if he doesn’t.

Michael S. Knapp

May 4, 2012, 2:04 p.m.

J Howard,

If you’ve got a counterargument, why not present it instead of engaging in ad hominem attacks.  The burden of proof in this situation is not the gas companies.  It is accepted science that the underground injection of water is a safe practice, and there is not one single instance where contaminated water from hydraulic fracturing operations has vertically migrated to impact an aquifer.  And, as I’ve mentioned, we’ve been hydraulically stimulating formations thousands of feet closer to the surface for decades.  This would be of interest were there actually some sound science behind it, but there’s not.  There’s a computer model that has already been shown to take many false assumptions, much like the Howarth GHG study, which was also funded by the Park Foundation. 

This “study” was meant to steal the news cycle for as long as possible, not to actually prove anything… same as the Howarth GHG study…

S. Brown

May 4, 2012, 2:32 p.m.

Responding to M. Knapp (5/2), it should would be nice if these publicly traded companies would stop corrupting our state and federal democracies with massive political contributions and lobbying.  (See or for example.)  PA Governor Corbett (R) heads the Pennsylvania list with over $1.6million in contributions from the gas industry. 

It seems that the fracking industry manages its toxics issue by pouring money into elections - exempting themselves from reasonable regulation (2005 Energy Act) - and then dumping waste in open lagoons or directly into streams, as in northeast PA. 

Apparently they’ve bought out large chunks of Penn State University as well, with “research grants.”  I recently watched an PSU Ag Extension agent raving about the economic benefits of fracking operations-  increased hotel occupancy by oil workers, etc.  When I asked him how having roads and huge drill rigs and 24 hour noise would benefit agriculture directly, he clammed up. 

Besides polluting our political system and educational system and water, it appears that quite a lot of the methane misses the pipe and ends up in the atmosphere, where it is a greenhouse gas 4 times as potent as CO2. 

Finally, the overproduction of methane (the industry is running out of storage capacity) is driving down its price,  making solar-based energy sources that much more expensive.  Incidentally, landowners (including state coffers) will receive less revenue from their leases.

Michael S. Knapp

May 4, 2012, 4:35 p.m.

S. Brown,

It’s not a very compelling argument to just dismiss anyone and everyone that doesn’t agree with you as bought off by the natural gas industry.

Garcol Euphrates

May 4, 2012, 7:24 p.m.

Michael Knapp -
“The burden of proof in this situation is not the gas companies.  It is accepted science that the underground injection of water is a safe practice, and there is not one single instance where contaminated water from hydraulic fracturing operations has vertically migrated to impact an aquifer. “

1. The burden of proof IS PRECISELY on the HV Horizontal Frac O&G extraction companies—it is they who have generated the ‘seismic’ impact on land use, road traffic, water usage and disposal:
2. “accepted science” - sorry, that doesn’t fly except as O&G PR. You, yourself, condemn any studies indicating issues with this method as being done by “anti-drilling activist[s]” or being unscientific studies.
3. If you constantly question the accuracy and the validity of any tests indicating contamination to potable water (wells, springs, etc) and environmental waters (lakes, streams, etc) as the result of fracking operations, YOU hold the public hostage. Contaminated water in holding pits DOES leak and overflow; well casings do NOT seal with 100% reliability; injection storage DOES cause earthquakes;  permeability of shale and harder rocks is exacerbated by faults, which are exacerbated by earthquakes; a fine mapping of porosity via natural and man-made faulting has NOT been undertaken; AND water usage and disposal is the un-named elephant in the room.
How long did it take to remove Lead from paint, asbestos from brake shoes, PCB from electrical transformers, or to issue warnings (!) on tobacco products because they CAUSE CANCER, EMPHYSEMA, HEART ATTACKs, DDT from environmental damage, etc… Major efforts by industry to ‘prove’ the safety of these products, or their ‘minimal risk’ are quite well documented, and have proven that “accepted science” is a purchasable entity.

chic tiwce

May 4, 2012, 8:39 p.m.

It’s basic physics.Gas can be compressed. Gas in the sub-strata attenuates the shock of earthquakes and the vibration of the planet as it slows…..Fraking is removing these gas shock absorbers in the name of greed and this year it will make the mayan prediction come true…..

chic tiwce

May 4, 2012, 8:41 p.m.

It’s basic physics.Gas can be compressed. Gas in the sub-strata attenuates the shock of earthquakes and the vibration of the planet as it slows…..Fraking is removing these gas shock absorbers in the name of greed and this year it will make the mayan prediction come true….

AH HA Censorship of the kind you complain of!!!!!!!.


May 4, 2012, 9:15 p.m.

There are the key parts of this article.  The independent geologist works for environmental groups and the Federal government.  He has no evidence but he does have some computer models that prove his point.  These are the same computer models Al Gore used to show us that the polar ice caps were melting while he was buying a house on the beach.

brian carey

May 4, 2012, 11:54 p.m.

Dear Mr. Knapp,
Have you ever heard the expression, ” Not being able to see the forest through the trees”?
I actually don’t think that you are sincere. I have read your retorts and get the impression that you are toying with the fodder.
Your arrogance and advanced education will win this battle for the small group of power elites that control this society, because all that is needed is to spread confusion and a whole lot of cash or the allure of it.
A just society would present the risks and advantages of a future path for its people to the people and allow them to decide their fate.
You mock those who oppose you and claim to be all knowing or at least closer to the truth than any washed up artist could ever be.
You understand that corporations are now people and that cash is free speech.  Perhaps it isnt money and power your after, maybe you cant pathom the possiblity that you have wasted many years living an illusion.
I do know one thing, your kind never asked the American people if we were willing to take the kinds of risks that are involved with hydrofracking.  We are seeing our future being played out in Japan.
Let me make this clear, I do not respect you.

Michael S. Knapp

May 5, 2012, 12:21 a.m.


I don’t discourage legitimate 3rd party studies.  The production company we work with is voluntarily participating in the big EPA fracing study.  And you’re absolutely right about SOME of the points you made. Gas drilling has contaminated water with surface spills, and in some specific regions there have been a few cases of methane migration.  This is completely unacceptable, and companies have moved swiftly to improve their practices.  But, no matter what the industry does, it will not be perfect.  This is not a perfect world.  But with strict regulations/enforcement and an informed populace demanding their absolute best, this industry can peacefully coexist with environmentalists.  There are huge environmental benefits that can be seen in a very short amount of time by the widespread adoption of natural gas.

Mitch Slagghorn

May 5, 2012, 6:02 a.m.

I would have to agree with Mr. Northrup.
Being from Upstate NY and studied the substrata history
all my life, I would look to the big picture of
hydrofracking as BadNews, generally speaking.
  I am also acutely aware of the lack of
regulatory legislation and the general opposition by
the majority of people here, to include More than several
townships, and counties.  Yet, incomprehensibly, the
gas industry presses on like a bulldozer with unknown
or proprietary data, shielded by a “loophole” in the
2005 energy bill, and seemingly protected by the EPA,
that quickly runs around dowsing bad press, denouncing
any harmful practice that hydrofracking might cause.
  Perhaps the most disturbing is the industry itself not
offering any possible alternative in new technology or
process/method. It is NEVER discussed by any pro-
gas drilling representative I have seen, ever. And the
extreme cost leveled against the state to monitor,
regulate, enforce, maintain, and follow-up on this industry,
who should really monitor themselves, is incredible.
  And the bulldozer blade is propelled uniquely on gas
estimates that vary by as much as 70 -80%!!!
Sorry Mr. Knapp, In terms of the big picture, which I
am greatly familiar, the shaken pop can analogy was a nice try,
but when you crunch the numbers of pressure bulb technology
against the substrata fault map of NYS, the actual movement
of fluids underground is greatly accelerated. None of the math
in any corner of this BigPicture adds up for anyone, except the
industry itself.  like I said: bad news


May 5, 2012, 9:41 a.m.

I am glad you guys got both sides of the story with Engelders commments here.  Because Myers has no idea about the geology of something like the Marcellus.  Modeling?????  Come on people, this guy would be laughed at by almost any well respected geologist.  And to say that well monitoring hasn’t been done.  There are companies that can run chemical tracers with frac fluids (think flouride, the same stuff put in your water) that can then be traced at nearby wells.  This is a technology that has been used for years in the oil and gas industry.  Think about it, you run the tracer with your frac fluids and then monitor nearby wells that were completed in a higher pay zone then your frac well.  This has been done numerous time and the migration hasn’t been seen for depths as little as 2000 ft.  If it is as permeable as he says why don’t we have gas from the Marcellus coming out without hydraulic fracturing?

brian carey

May 5, 2012, 11:57 a.m.
Mr. Knapp is clearly a front man for the industries PR campaign and his bulldog tactics can be reviewed at above link. 
The exchanges for this article are also likely part of Mr. Knapps campaign.
“There are bad leases out there, and, as with any industry, there have also been some unscrupulous opportunists,” said Mike Knapp, president of Knapp Acquisitions and Production, a company in western Pennsylvania that brokers deals between landowners and drilling companies. “But everyone I know who does this work is on the up and up, and most of the bad actors that there may have been before are no longer in business.”
Again, shut up, sit down and trust us.
Do you pay a independant water tester of the landowners choosing to do a baseline study?
How good is a baseline water assessment when the public is not allowed to know what chemicals are used?
I know, the industry voluntarily tells the public whats in the fracking fluid.
Thank God Exxon is getting into the act!  Now thats a company you can trust!  Right, Mr. Knapp or is it Knapps?
When do you find the time to run a company when you spend so much time on industry PR?

Mitch Slagghorn

May 5, 2012, 2:07 p.m.

Fascinating Meshal, I would like to know how you do that.
How can you possibly account for the education and knowledge
of another person you do not know?  How can you denounce
a modeling program and the associated sortware, and data used
in it’s construction so perfectly without ever seen it?
And the article plainly states that the movement of these fluids take
years… Are you impling that 5 minutes after a frack burst
underground, that you could run over to a nearby well and find your
tracer element??  It’s this kind of snake-oil salesmanship that does not
help your cause.  Meshal, do your psychic thing and take a
snapshot of my mind too, and while you’re at it see if you can guess
my weight and my credit score..  wow

R Laurence Davis

May 8, 2012, 11:31 a.m.

Here is the link to the article in Groundwater:

It has been published online and will appear in the next printed issue (June/August) of the journal.

Basically this article is of the type that makes a prediction, based on modeling. The assumptions made are clear as is the methodology. The models on which this work is based are standard ones that have been modified to fit the situation.

As will all predictions, this one has to be tested which will require sampling and so forth. Since the time line of the prediction is “just a few years” testing can easily be done.

Bottom line, this is how science works. We take data, formulate a hypothesis based on it (which can be done in the field or by modeling) and then test it. The author does not say this will happen, but rather that it is possible and that it could happen faster than we had previously thought. It remains to be seen if he is right or not.

R. Laurence Davis, Ph.D.
Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of New Haven

Harold Leslie

May 12, 2012, 3:47 p.m.

R. Laurence Davis - Thanks for the link to the journal article. The occasional reasoned response really adds a lot to this list of exchanges.

Dottie Finkle

May 12, 2012, 4:48 p.m.

My main concern with fracing and injection well disposal - of any type - is that it is all quite new.  We may have been at it for decades, but geologically speaking it’s the blink of an eye.  Results have been good in general so far, but part of looking at the bigger picture is looking down the road.  We do not live on a static planet, and compounds that do not biodegrade cannot be wished away.  Will the contents of these wells stay put 100 years, 1000?  Will they ever pose a problem?  I don’t know, and unfortunately neither does anyone else.  I do know that when harmful compounds show up in the drinking water, it’s already too late.


May 19, 2012, 3:16 p.m.

Another nonsense article without basis in science???  How many times do you folks have to be proven wrong based on real-world observation before you’ll get off of this idiotic effort to shut down the oil and gas industry???  The small town of Graford, Texas, not that long ago (about 30 years) started pumping out salt water from their city water supply wells and immediately blamed the gas exploration activity in the vicinity.  After a decade of “study” it was quietly published that the small aquifer from which they were getting their drinking water was, like MOST aquifers, layered with both fresh and salt water.  Salt water, being heavier, settles in the lower parts of the aquifer with fresh water on top.  They pumped so much water out that they eventually hit the salt water layer. 

Fracking takes place hundreds of feet, if not thousands, below fresh-water regions.  In case you haven’t heard, GRAVITY exists…even underground.  The fluids used in fracking do NOT tend to migrate UP towards the fresh water zones.  The gas vents upward through the drillpipe casing—which, by law, has to be inserted THROUGH the fresh water zones so there can’t be contamination.  Venting the gas also releases the pressure on the shale zones where fracking takes place so that IT won’t cause the fuids to migrate against gravity either.  The next thing you know, fracking will be put forward as the cause of earthquakes…oh, wait!

You people who buy this nonsense need to understand that it’s proponents have a single goal in mind…the destruction of the American economy so they can usher in their idea of a socialist “utopia” and take EVERYTHING they tell you with a very large dose of salt…or salt water, if you prefer.


May 19, 2012, 8:17 p.m.

Please notice the title and the word “Predict”.  This is nothing more than more scaremongering.  In the 1800’s it was witch burning.  Today we are no smarter than the idiots of the 1800’s, only the witches we try to burn are any that claim to produce CO2.  Come on people, I think it is all the pot you smoked in college making you think that you are all enlightened.


May 19, 2012, 9:13 p.m.

You are correct, WS…except witches were burned in the 17th Century as well as the 18th, which was the 1600’s and early 1700’s—not the 1800’s.

BTW, fracking is NOT “new.”  It’s a technology that’s been in use at LEAST since the 1930’s and has only recently (about 1960) been found to also work in shale beds to release natural gas.  Oh wait!  That was 50 years ago!  There HAVE been study after study done about the effects of fracking and STILL not one scintillum of evidence that fracking causes ANY groundwater pollution whatsoever.

One study done in the 1970’s & 1980’s that may be of interest was the introduction of a mildly radioactive dye injected into the largest domestic midwest aquafer—the Ogalala which extends from Nebraska to the great bend of Texas.  Test wells were drilled 5 miles apart in four directions from the well where the injection took place.  It took 7.5 YEARS for the dye to migrate through the aquafer to the first one of these test wells…to the south, by the way, of the injection wel, indicating that the general direction of flow within the aquafer is southerly and almost GLACIALLY slow, even though there are LOTS of wells into the aquafer pulling out water for irrigation of crops in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.

Mitch Slagghorn

May 19, 2012, 10:04 p.m.

The geology is not the same for Upstate NY as all the other places you mentioned.  Trying compare them is part of the overall problem of a science that not as exact as you say.  Moreover, is the absolute insistence to use a method that involves the use of tons of chemicals, some of which are known to cause cancer as well as other major health problems.  In using these chemicals, comes the risk of them not only migrating beneath the surface, potentially causing irreversible damage to water supplies, but the handling of these chemicals on the surface in an operation of such broad scope, that it can not be monitored correctly. New York State clearly does not have regulations in place to protect against drilling practices that certainly will need to be watched.
  It is easy to paint the gas industry as an “evil empire” and it’s unfortunate that the influence of corporate greed far outweighs any environmental concern, but it does, and it’s not a secret.  The people of this state know this, or believe this, and however it is perceived, I have yet to see the gas drilling industry offer an alternative to the existing
fracking fluid.  We should be smarter now, and I would have to think that we are, yet this is never addressed.  The microseismic data you suggest is soo accurate, and the estimates for gas vary by as much as 80%!!  I live over an aquafir that supports 40,000 people, if the industry were allowed to come in as unregulated as the state is right now, chances are very good that drilling too close to this particular region would result in a poisoning of the water supply.  If that were to happen,
It would be safe to say, it would be the Governors last term, ever,
anywhere, for anything.


May 21, 2012, 12:54 p.m.

In response to Dr. Davis -
Your post on how science is supposed to work is dead-bang correct.  Unfortunately, “modeling” is NOT an accurate method of predicting what will happen in the future.  Take the “modeling” done on the issue of “Climate Change” as an example.  If you start out with erroneous assumptions to begin with, then add erroneous data (or omit CRITICAL data) your model will be useless.  Taking the assumptions the IPCC bunch used and applying them 100 years in the PAST through the present, they were no where NEAR accurate.  In fact, off by an order of magnitude…almost.  One thing that was simply omitted in their “model” was the effect on albedo of increasing cloud cover, as an example.  Anyone who’s completed high school general science knows that the generator of global temperatures is almost exclusively solar radiation.  That’s one reason why, when you challenge AGW proponents to explain how “human activity” has caused the polar ice caps of Mars to shrink over the same period they are claiming CO2 has “caused higher global temps” they are stumped for a credible answer.  I had one so-called “scientist” try to convince me that all those Mars probes we’ve been sending up there “might” be to blame!

The fact is, 2000 years ago, one of the Roman Empire’s most difficult problems was what to do with (and how to dispose of) all that black, gunky stuff that kept seeping to the surface in parts of the empire.


May 21, 2012, 3:11 p.m.

The amount of useful information you contribute is miniscule; Modeling does not PROVE anything, any more than 12 bystanders on the jury can say with certainty that the person they have convicted IS truly guilty. We live in a world where “absolute knowable truths” are Platonic ideals and where we daily make assumptions with limited, or even, biased or incorrect information. Computer modeling or simulation attempts to QUANTIFY the known elements, as well as QUALIFY the UNKNOWN elements - that’s what modeling is about. And what THIS modeling study says is THAT IT IS POSSIBLE FOR frack processes to migrate through “simulation modeled solid” rock faster than had been previously assumed, ie, YOU are modeling the rock as IMpermeable and solid. This small element of the picture in no way invalidates or modifies ANY of the standard KNOWN issues of HighVolume fracking - accidents, explosions, noise, heavy traffic, profligate use of water, disposal issues, backwash contamination, sludge pond overflows, earthquake enhancement, sand minining issues, decreasing sales and productivity of wells, sales of gas to foreign NOT domestic users, lack of significant auto/truck population conversion to gas for utilization, etc, etc, etc.
Claiming that Rome didn’t know what to do with crude is equivalent to your inability to know what to do with internet searches and O&G propaganda.


May 21, 2012, 3:25 p.m.

The point (which you obviously missed) is that “modeling” is NOT “science.”  It’s, at best, guessing what’s POSSIBLE—often wrongly, as in the “Climate Change Models” the IPCC touted as “incontrovertable proof”.  I’ve had people with YOUR mindset try to tell me that man-generated CO2 isn’t the same thing as “natural” CO2.  Now how stupid is THAT?  CO2 is CO2…dot…period…end of discussion. 

The “Environmental theorists” remind me of the thousands of signatures one university obtained on a petition to have “something done” about “Dihydro-oxides” in the atmosphere because they are “killing thousands of people every year, but nothing is being done about them.”

Mitch Slagghorn

May 21, 2012, 3:52 p.m.

keep trying to spin it pappadave,


May 21, 2012, 4:28 p.m.



May 21, 2012, 5:23 p.m.

Mitch - I have no need to “spin” anything.  All I’ve been doing is presenting the facts.  If you choose to ignore them and get on the eco-freaks’ bandwagon, that’s incontrovertable proof to me that you can’t think rationally anyway, so what’s the use.  Pearls before swine, and all that!  LOL

Who cares what Germany may have done?  They might have 5 or 6 barrels of oil left after the nazis got through with them and MAYBE a couple hundred mcf of natural gas.  Big deal.  They’ve got a good deal with Iraq and Iran to supply their oil and gas needs anyway…unfortunately in exchange for technical expertise in producing weapons of mass destruction.

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This article is part of an ongoing investigation:

Fracking: Gas Drilling’s Environmental Threat

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

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