Fuzzy Science or Misrepresention... You DecideAuthor: Ron Stamets
*NOTE: We will use the industry accepted term for what some call hydro-fracking. the accepted term for decades has been fracing.
Having searched all over the internet for documentation regarding the claims by environmentalists that "The tests conducted by the EPA are old and inadequate" I am unable to come up with a single instance of DOCUMENTED ground water contamination IN ANY STATE. There are many claims by irate landowners and the environmental radicals blocking natural gas production, but having spent many days on the phone, letters and in person visits, have yet to be able to come up with any verifiable documentation.
This can mean that 1. The states are in collusion with the Federal Government to prevent any negative exposure to the drilling companies or 2. The environmentalists are out to lunch on this fracing issue (no pun intended).
Let's get off our emotional, idealistic high horses for a moment (both pro and con drilling) and assess what is proveable.
I live in PA. I can attest to the fact that if you mess up ANY water in this state, you will be visited by either a DEP official or a Fish and Game Commission official.... or both. When Cabot screwed up and gas got into some local water wells, they were all over the issue like flies on you know what. Heck, when I just cleaned an overflow pipe on my neighbor's pond and stirred up some dirt, DEP was there within 4 hours. Fortunately everything was worked out amicably because I didn't do what they thought that I did.
With over 35,000 wells being drilled every year since the fracing technology has been in use in states across America, would I be out of my mind to even think that not one of those states would be capable of identifying and documenting groundwater contamination by fracing? Frankly, although many cases of surface contamination have been documented in relationship to fracing fluids, there is none, zip, zero, to date implicating the fracing technology in contaminating ground water.
Although many walls were not tested for water quality prior to drilling operations, there have been hundreds of thousands that have been tested prior to drilling. In PA, the law automatically implicates the drilling company for ANY change in water quality within 6 months of a well being drilled. I have personally spoken to a landowner (in Dimock, ironically) who has a double horizontal about 800 feet from his well. The water tested fine, and no, they don't have gas in the water. So... Where's the beef?
Fear, docu-fiction, and out-of-context papers are about all that has been produced by those attempting to block any progress on natural gas drilling in NY and PA. Fear Fests and stacking public meetings with outcries of irrepairable damgage, all based on presumption and fear. Or is there really another agenda? Seems to me that these are the very same people and organizations that cry out for green energy, then rally to block any wind farm, solar, or hydro-power project that ever makes it off the drawing boards.
So... Here is the challenge. Show me the documentation that proves that fracing has contaminated groundwater. I am uninterested in claims, pictures and movies. I am also uninterested in damage caused by surface spills. The issue here is whether the technology of fracing has been proven to have injected frac fluids into the groundwater. (One issue at a time please, we will deal with surface issues later).
As a landowner, and the owner of a very valuable artesian water well, I will be the first to jump in line to block fracing, but to date, like the Senate Committee, I have been unable to put my eyes on a single piece of empirical data which supports the dire claims of those so vocal about this issue.