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Home / Articles / Editorial / Letters /  Mudsock ignores the facts about drilling, injection wells
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Wednesday, March 6,2013

Mudsock ignores the facts about drilling, injection wells

To the Editor:

I was sorry to read that Dennis "Mudsock" Powell believes fracking "has been highly effective at producing fuel for an energy-starved country" and there isn't "any particular reason to oppose it." Insufficient regulation of deep-shale extraction and waste disposal has created numerous health and environmental problems.

Respiratory and other health problems are commonplace in areas of horizontal hydraulic fracturing. Containment ponds holding huge volumes of toxic fracking fluid have had their dams fail or have overflowed during heavy rain. The ODNR claims to have "cradle to grave" tracking of frack wastewater, while the recently reported illegal dumping into the Mahoning and other rivers is proof they're dropping the baby. There is a lot more research and regulation needed in this area! As an ex-New Yorker, I'd ask, if an oil company wanted to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge, would you buy it? 

As far as the claim of helping an energy-starved country, are you talking about somewhere in Europe or Asia? The energy companies are hoping to sell U.S. extracted natural gas overseas, where they can get $15 per barrel, instead of $3 per barrel domestically. They are actively lobbying Congress for natural gas exporting, and this will no doubt lead to record profits for the Exxon/Mobil multinational conglomerate, once again.

Furthermore, in our state of Ohio, we charge a pittance of a severance tax on oil and gas production compared to neighboring states. So let's drill here, dispose of the waste here, charge peanuts for it, and ship it overseas. Great plan for corporate prosperity with local indemnity!

The Bill of Rights Committee may have a Sisyphian battle ahead of them, legally and politically. However, theirs and similar efforts in other Ohio cities continue to highlight the huge question of fracking and the current inability of communities to control their local destiny. I applaud them for that. Until science and industry can definitively prove that there is no harm done, public pressure is needed for more research, regulation and local control.

Al Blazevicius
Albany

 

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Toxic Air and Polluted Water


As the industry has rushed forward without adequate over


-


sight, local communities have suffered the consequences.


For example, natural gas fracking extraction emits green


-


house gases, smog-inducing compounds and potential


carcinogens causing dangerous health and environmental


effects. A 2011 Cornell University study found that shale


gas has a greater greenhouse gas footprint than conven


-tional gas or oil.


Methane is also highly flammable and a serious safety hazard.


Methanol, formaldehyde and carbon disulfide are known hazardous air pollutants found near fracking sites.


From, http://documents.foodandwaterwatch.org/doc/fracking_ban.pdf


 


Environmental Damage Has Occurred


Severe environmen


tal damage, drinking water contamination and human health problems linked to


fracking are too numerous to list.


From, http://www.friendsofthejordan.org/fracking/disaster.pdf


 


And a few more:


*Colorado - 206 chemical spills were linked to 48 cases of water contamination in 2008 alone. In


Parachutte, CO, 1.6 million gallons of fracking fluid leaked and were transported by groundwater.


According to state records, it seeped out the side of a cliff, forming a frozen waterfall 200 feet high. It


melted into a tributary of the Colorado River. (ProPublica and Vanity Fair).


*Durango, Colorado - an emergency room nurse almost died of organ failure after handling the clothes of a


rig worker who had been splashed in a fracking fluid spill. The doctors were unable to learn the chemical


makeup of the fluid because the information is proprietary - companies are not required to disclose the


contents of chemicals used. (ProPublica, 11/13/08, Abrahm Lustgarten)


*New Mexico - toxic fluids seeped into water supplies at over 800 drilling sites in 2008. (Vanity Fair, “A


Colossal Fracking Mess” June 21, 2010).


*Wyoming - benzene, a common chemical used in fracking, was discovered throughout a 28-mile long


aquifer. (ProPublica, 12/31/09)


*Wyoming - Upper Green River Basin reported ozone levels above those of Los Angeles on its worst days.


The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality urged the elderly and children to avoid strenuous


outdoor activity. (AP news article printed in TC Record Eagle, March 2011)


*Sublette, Wyoming - toxic compounds used in fracking including benzene were found at 1500 times safe


level in 88 drinking water wells, documented by the US Bureau of Land Management in July, 2008.


Researchers returned in September to take more samples. They were unable to open the water wells -


monitors showed they contained so much flammable gas that they were likely to explode. (Pro Publica,


“Buried Secrets: Is Natural Gas Drilling Endangering US Water Supplies?” Abrahm Lustgarten,


Nov 13, 2008).


*Dish, Texas - Mayor Calvin Tillman describes how carcinogenic air pollution from drilling has ruined the


quality of life for residents, who report problems with nausea, headaches, breathing difficulties, chronic eye


and throat irritation and brain disorders. Trees are dying and horses have fallen ill. The town hired an


environmental firm to collect air samples and found high levels of 15 chemicals used in fracking fluid,


including benzene, toluene and xylene. In June, 2010, tests by the Texas Railroad Commission showed


high levels of arsenic, barium, chromium, lead and selenium in residential water wells. (Texas Oil and Gas


Accountability Project).


*Texas Commission on Environmental Quality found pollutants from methane gas drilling in the Barnett


Shale were greater than those produced by all vehicular traffic in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.


*Texas - a hospital system in six counties with gas drilling reported a 25% asthma rate for children. This is


over three times the state average. (New York Times article 2/26/11, “Regulation Lax As Gas Wells


Tainted Water Hits Rivers”)


*Texas - The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TDEX) independent research organization based in


Colorado analyzed the health effects of 61 chemicals used in fracking in Texas in April, 2009. Of the tested


chemicals, ¼ were classified as volatile, meaning they can become airborne and can be swallowed, inhaled,


or can reach skin. More than 90% are harmful to brain, nerves, lungs and digestive system. 80% affect the


heart, blood and kidneys. 67% affect the immune system. (Texas Oil and Gas Accountability


Project).


From, http://www.gilbertsville.com/fracking/frackaccidents.pdf

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
b
%u2620 In Louisiana, 17 cows died after an hour’s exposure to spilled fracking fluid, which is injected miles underground to crack open and release pockets of natural gas. The most likely cause of death: respiratory failure.  %u2620 In New Mexico, hair testing of sick cattle that grazed near well pads found petroleum residues in 54 of 56 animals.  %u2620 In northern central Pennsylvania, 140 cattle were exposed to fracking wastewater when an impoundment was breached. Approximately 70 cows died, and the remainder produced only 11 calves, of which three survived.  %u2620 In western Pennsylvania, an overflowing wastewater pit sent fracking chemicals into a pond and a pasture where pregnant cows grazed: Half their calves were born dead. Dairy operators in shale-gas areas of Colorado, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Texas have also reported the death of goats.  Read more at http://livinggreenmag.com/2012/12/17/energy-ecology/livestock-falling-ill-in-fracking-regions-raising-concerns-about-food/#IpgXvlQW8clK0hkm.99

%u2620 In Louisiana, 17 cows died after an hour’s exposure to spilled fracking fluid, which is injected miles underground to crack open and release pockets of natural gas. The most likely cause of death: respiratory failure.

%u2620 In New Mexico, hair testing of sick cattle that grazed near well pads found petroleum residues in 54 of 56 animals.

%u2620 In northern central Pennsylvania, 140 cattle were exposed to fracking wastewater when an impoundment was breached. Approximately 70 cows died, and the remainder produced only 11 calves, of which three survived.

%u2620 In western Pennsylvania, an overflowing wastewater pit sent fracking chemicals into a pond and a pasture where pregnant cows grazed: Half their calves were born dead. Dairy operators in shale-gas areas of Colorado, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Texas have also reported the death of goats.

Read more at http://livinggreenmag.com/2012/12/17/energy-ecology/livestock-falling-ill-in-fracking-regions-raising-concerns-about-food/#IpgXvlQW8clK0hkm.99

 

 

 
 
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