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Thread: Wyoming Fracking Polllution May Fuel NY Debate

  1. #1
    Havakasha is offline
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    Wyoming Fracking Polllution May Fuel NY Debate

    ALBANY, N.Y. — The Environmental Protection Agency's finding that chemicals used in fracking natural gas wells are to blame for groundwater pollution in Wyoming is likely to fuel opposition to the industry in New York state.

    New York regulators haven't issued permits for gas drilling with high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale since they began an extensive environmental review in 2008. A public comment period on proposed regulations ends Jan. 11, after which permitting may start if the Department of Environmental Conservation determines fracking can be done safely.

    The issue has been highly contentious in New York, where some upstate residents and politicians argue that the gas industry will bring desperately needed jobs while others demand a ban on fracking to protect water supplies.

    —Copyright 2011 Associated Press
    Last edited by Havakasha; 12-09-2011 at 09:17 PM.

  2. #2
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    CHEYENNE, Wyo. – CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday for the first time that fracking — a controversial method of improving the productivity of oil and gas wells — may be to blame for causing groundwater pollution.

    By Ralph Wilson, AP
    The draft finding could have significant implications while states try to determine how to regulate the process. Environmentalists characterized the report as a significant development though it met immediate criticism from the oil and gas industry and a U.S. senator.
    The practice is called hydraulic fracturing and involves pumping pressurized water, sand and chemicals underground to open fissures and improve the flow of oil or gas to the surface.
    The EPA's found that compounds likely associated with fracking chemicals had been detected in the groundwater beneath Pavillion, a small community in central Wyoming where residents say their well water reeks of chemicals. Health officials last year advised them not to drink their water after the EPA found low levels hydrocarbons in their wells.
    The EPA announcement could add to the controversy over fracking, which has played a large role in opening up many gas reserves, including the Marcellus Shale in the eastern U.S. in recent years.
    The industry has long contended that fracking is safe, but environmentalists and some residents who live near drilling sites say it has poisoned groundwater.
    The EPA said its announcement is the first step in a process of opening up its findings for review by the public and other scientists.
    "EPA's highest priority remains ensuring that Pavillion residents have access to safe drinking water," said Jim Martin, EPA regional administrator in Denver. "We look forward to having these findings in the draft report informed by a transparent and public review process."

  3. #3
    Havakasha is offline
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    Something about 'fracking' smells funny
    December 9, 2011 | 7:29 am

    "Fracking" just can't catch a break.

    First came wild speculation that hydraulic fracturing was to blame for the magnitude-5.6 earthquake and a swarm of aftershocks that hit Oklahoma in November.

    Now -- and much more credibly -- the EPA says the controversial procedure used to extract natural gas from deep underground probably contaminated well water in Wyoming.

    As The Times' reported Thursday:

    The EPA's new draft report found dangerous amounts of benzene in a monitoring well near the town of Pavillion, in central Wyoming.

    Of course, this is far from the final word on the issue:

    The EPA is conducting a comprehensive study about the possible effect of "fracking" on water resources, but initial results are not expected until late 2012. As a result, the Pavillion report may not give either side in the fracking debate the conclusive answers they seek.

    Still, you can expect the usual political suspects to start weighing in immediately, if not sooner.

    The anti-EPA forces of the Republican Party will probably portray this as another job- and energy-independence-killing move by an agency the party’s presidential candidates want to do away with.

    Environmentalists, already concerned about the Keystone XL pipeline, will add this to the list of threats to America’s water supply.

    And President Obama will be caught in the middle as he attempts to navigate between the need for jobs and energy and protecting the environment.

    Regardless of where you stand politically, though, you have to be concerned reading this from The Times’ story:

    About a decade ago, people in Pavillion began noticing an odd smell and taste to their well water and new illnesses in livestock, said Deb Thomas, an organizer for the Powder River Basin Resources Council, a landowners group. The EPA began the study in 2009 after about 20 well owners asked the agency to study their groundwater.

    "It smells like a cross between something dead and diesel fuel," Thomas said by phone from Wyoming. "It's a very chemical bad smell."

    Sure, the U.S. needs jobs, and it needs energy.

    But human beings need water to survive, and that water shouldn't taste like -- and certainly shouldn't contain -- diesel fuel.

    So let's not get too sold on this fracking thing.

  4. #4
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    Since when are the Democrats the party of "NO"? LMFAO. "NO" to jobs, "NO" to progress, "NO" to innovation.....

    Shell doing its best to make fracking safe, water friendly

    Some of you may have seen this image on television or the internet. A man reaches across and turns on his kitchen tap. He takes a lighter and applies it to the stream of water, it bursts into flame. The flame is attributed to the presence of methane gas.

    It is a powerful image. But it is important to be clear about the source of the gas. While critics suggest natural gas drilling as the cause, there is considerable evidence that dissolved methane can occur naturally in ground water. Indeed, according to the Department of Water Affairs, methane gas has been found in shallow water wells in the Karoo.

    Confusion and misinformation about connection between natural gas drilling and water supplies feeds into public concern about the safety and environmental impact of shale gas production, and contributes to worries about the exploration for natural gas in the Karoo. The public is right to demand high standards.

    For the industry, there are two clear tasks at hand: first, we must continue to maintain the very highest operational standards. At Shell, our efforts are underlined by a set of global onshore shale gas operating principles that provide a framework for protecting water, air, wildlife and the needs of local communities.

    We support regulation that is designed to reduce risks to the environment and keep those living near our operations safe.

    Second, we need to dispel the significant misconceptions about shale gas production. I would like to address the main misconceptions about shale gas, underlined by the fact that shale gas under the Karoo may help South Africa to develop a secure and sustainable energy supply.

    We understand that people have concerns about the issues and allegations raised by opponents of shale gas extraction, and we feel it is important to address these. The allegations have many factual discrepancies and do not reflect Shell’s operations.

    One major misconception is that hydraulic fracturing poses a significant risk to fresh water aquifers. A very recent report of the US Energy Department that has been looking at potential health and environmental implications of hydraulic fracturing confirmed that when a well was designed and constructed correctly, ground water would not be contaminated. We think we need well-targeted and strictly implemented regulation to preserve public confidence that the shale gas revolution really is a force for good.

    Talk about ideologues!!

    Here's a company that is trying to solve the problem, for a profit. Imagine if they did? So many would benefit; even the government who would reap tons of tax dollars on the commerce. This is the free market; hence, this is why the socialists are against it.
    Last edited by SiriuslyLong; 12-09-2011 at 12:25 PM.

  5. #5
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    Why Solving the Natural Gas Fracking Conundrum Matters – A LOT!

    In our earlier blog posts, The Natural Gas Fracking Debate: What Is Fracking and Why Does It Matter?, we discussed the environmental issues involved with fracking. Our discussion examined why it is unclear whether we’ll get such issues resolved or whether public opposition could lead to restrictions on use of shale gas and other reserves. In this post, we’ll discuss why it is very important to find a way to safely frack.

    The ability to exploit reserves via fracking is critical both from an environmental protection standpoint and from an economic development standpoint. Despite our currently fractured political arena in Washington, this issue should be one that both sides of the debate should desperately want to solve and then demonstrate to the public that it has been solved. Here’s why.

    Natural Gas is Necessary to Reduce Environmental Impacts of Power Generation
    We need electricity to power our society. And, while energy efficiency can help mute demand growth, it can’t replace the need for generation or eliminate electricity’s rapid growth in the developing world. At some point, scientists and engineers can envision a world without use of fossil fuels for generation. But even the true optimists talk about this happening in 20 years – not tomorrow. Others envision a world powered by a revitalized nuclear industry and/or one driven by coal where carbon emissions are captured and sequestered. But again, these visions are decades into the future.

    In the meantime, natural gas is the only fuel that can bridge the gap while reducing environmental impacts. The largest reserves are located in Russia and the Middle East. In fact, if just conventional reserves are considered, about 40% of the world’s natural gas reserves are located in just two countries: Russia and Iran. So for geopolitical reasons, dependence on international conventional reserves may not be the best strategy.

    And from an economic standpoint, as of late September 2011, spot LNG trades for around $10/MMBtu in Europe and $16/MMBtu in Japan compared to a U.S. spot price of less than $4/MMBtu. We have already seen industrial companies with a large demand for natural gas ramp up production in the U.S., which helps in a weak employment environment. Ongoing growth of non-conventional gas supplies through fracking promises to continue this advantage for the U.S. economy.

    Liberals for Nancy Reagan - Just Say "NO".

  6. #6
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    Liberals for Nancy Reagan - Just say NO

  7. #7
    Havakasha is offline
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    I think as with nuclear power, coal, global warming and climate change etc. environmentalist warnings tend to turn out to be very prescient. It would be smart to proceed very cautiously when
    it comes to our water supply.
    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The Environmental Protection Agency said this week that chemicals from "fracking," a controversial method of extracting natural gas from the ground, have polluted groundwater in Wyoming.
    The findings represent the first time in the heated debate over fracking that the agency has drawn such a connection, which has long been claimed by environmental activists.

    In a statement released on Thursday, the EPA said a study had found that groundwater in an aquifer around Pavillion, Wyoming, contained "compounds likely associated with gas production practices, including hydraulic fracturing."
    Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process in which water, sand and chemicals are injected deep into the ground to crack the shale rock and unleash natural gas. The process has sparked concern in part due to worries about its effect on drinking water.
    The EPA constructed a pair of wells to test water quality in the Wyoming aquifer, near where natural gas firm Encana (ECA) has drilled. Within these wells, researchers found synthetic chemicals associated with the fracking process as well as high methane levels and benzene concentrations "well above" Safe Drinking Water Act standards.
    As a precautionary step, the Department of Health and Human Services has advised local residents to use alternative sources of water for drinking and cooking and to use ventilation when showering, in order to air out potentially dangerous chemicals.

    Doug Hock a spokesman for Encana, said concerns about the pollution of drinking water "are not borne out by the facts." The EPA's test wells, he noted, were far below the depth of drinking water wells.
    "At a depth where you would expect to find hydrocarbons, they found hydrocarbons. In drinking wells, they found no impacts due to oil and gas," he said.
    "We've done extensive testing, the state has done extensive testing, and never have we found the effects of oil and gas in these drinking water wells," Hock said.
    The EPA, however, is worried that this may change.
    A warning for shale gas investors
    "Given the area's complex geology and the proximity of drinking water wells to ground water contamination, EPA is concerned about the movement of contaminants within the aquifer and the safety of drinking water wells over time," the agency said. Samples of drinking wells showed small amounts of compounds "consistent with migration from areas of gas production," it added.

  8. #8
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    Shame on the socialists in America for denying good jobs to Americans. Shame on the socialists for their lack of trust in innovation. Shame on the socialists for their rigid ideology that jeapardizes American energy policy. Shame, shame, shame.

    Be proud Hava-get a freakin accountant-kasha; shame on you for trying to deny our American brothers and sisters a decent middle class job.

  9. #9
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    And some here are crediting Obama with the boom in Oil and Gas.

    Dear Lord............................

  10. #10
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    And some here are trying to say Obama is a Marxist and that he has prevented oil and gas production despite the fact that it has increased 11% during his term in office. Dear God please help those who lie and have SO much hate in their heart.

    Once again those pesky little facts:

    "The GOP’s favorite line of attack against the President recently has been that his administration is blocking American oil production and making gas prices go up:

    “The Obama administration has consistently blocked America’s energy production.” — Speaker John Boehner, March 10, 2011
    “These resources are being kept out of reach because of an intense regulatory bias and radical environmental activists — both in the administration and elsewhere.” — Chairman of the Oversight and Government Oversight Committee Rep. Darrell Issa, May 12, 2011
    “He is diminishing and decreasing the amount of energy in our market domestically and that, of course, resulting in prices that are rising and gas having doubled since he has been in office.” — Sarah Palin, May 6, 2011
    “I would reverse Obama’s entire pattern of being anti-American energy. I would start by saying drill here — drill now, pay less.” — Newt Gingrich, May 12, 2011
    “The decisions that the President is making on energy, and has been making since the beginning of his administration, has made it very clear that America is not interested in developing our own energy resources.” — Mitt Romney, April 25, 2011
    “This is a president who has sat on his hands as it relates to drilling. You know, we’ve got a country that’s got some enormous energy assets that are not being exploited or leveraged to the benefit of our country and to our people.” — Tim Pawlenty, April 25, 2011
    Incredibly, none of the Republicans hammering Obama for supposedly strangling domestic oil production bothered to check the data.

    While domestic production declined each year under President Bush, falling from 5.8 million barrels per day to less than 5 million, production (XLS) has increased 11% since Obama came into office. It would have increased even more if a pesky oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico hadn’t intervened."
    Last edited by Havakasha; 01-11-2012 at 12:52 AM.

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