Fracking – The Lies Of The Gasland Documentary
The Green enviornment lobby from Chris Huhne and Caroline Lucas downwards are all quoting a US science fiction documentary, Gasland, as the deinitive truth about hydraulic fracturing or fracking as it is called.
The director of the movie Josh Fox shot the movie in areas of the US where there has been methane contamination of groundwater for decades, and certainly well before any fracking operations took place, but according to Fox this does not matter:
All of this growth has inevitably attracted critics, notably environmentalists and their allies. They’ve launched a media and political assault on hydraulic fracturing, and their claims are raising public anxiety. So it’s a useful moment to separate truth from fiction in the main allegations against the shale revolution.
• Fracking contaminates drinking water. One claim is that fracking creates cracks in rock formations that allow chemicals to leach into sources of fresh water. The problem with this argument is that the average shale formation is thousands of feet underground, while the average drinking well or aquifer is a few hundred feet deep. Separating the two is solid rock. This geological reality explains why EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, a determined enemy of fossil fuels, recently told Congress that there have been no “proven cases where the fracking process itself has affected water.”
A second charge, based on a Duke University study, claims that fracking has polluted drinking water with methane gas. Methane is naturally occurring and isn’t by itself harmful in drinking water, though it can explode at high concentrations. Duke authors Rob Jackson and Avner Vengosh have written that their research shows “the average methane concentration to be 17 times higher in water wells located within a kilometer of active drilling sites.”
They failed to note that researchers sampled a mere 68 wells across Pennsylvania and New York—where more than 20,000 water wells are drilled annually. They had no baseline data and thus no way of knowing if methane concentrations were high prior to drilling. They also acknowledged that methane was detected in 85% of the wells they tested, regardless of drilling operations, and that they’d found no trace of fracking fluids in any wells.
The Duke study did spotlight a long-known and more legitimate concern: the possibility of leaky well casings at the top of a drilling site, from which methane might migrate to water supplies. As the BP Gulf of Mexico spill attests, proper well construction and maintenance are major issues in any type of drilling, and they ought to be the focus of industry standards and attention. But the risks are not unique to fracking, which has provided no unusual evidence of contamination.
• Fracking releases toxic or radioactive chemicals. The reality is that 99.5% of the fluid injected into fracture rock is water and sand. The chemicals range from the benign, such as citric acid (found in soda pop), to benzene. States like Wyoming and Pennsylvania require companies to publicly disclose their chemicals, Texas recently passed a similar law, and other states will follow.
Drillers must dispose of fracking fluids, and environmentalists charge that disposal sites also endanger drinking water, or that drillers deliberately discharge radioactive wastewater into streams. The latter accusation inspired the EPA to require that Pennsylvania test for radioactivity. States already have strict rules designed to keep waste water from groundwater, including liners in waste pits, and drillers are subject to stiff penalties for violations. Pennsylvania’s tests showed radioactivity at or below normal levels.
• Fracking causes cancer. In Dish, Texas, Mayor Calvin Tillman caused a furor this year by announcing that he was quitting to move his sons away from “toxic” gases—such as cancer-causing benzene—from the town’s 60 gas wells. State health officials investigated and determined that toxin levels in the majority of Dish residents were “similar to those measured in the general U.S. population.” Residents with higher levels of benzene in their blood were smokers. (Cigarette smoke contains benzene.)
• Fracking causes earthquakes. It is possible that the deep underground injection of fracking fluids might cause seismic activity. But the same can be said of geothermal energy exploration, or projects to sequester carbon dioxide underground. Given the ubiquity of fracking without seismic impact, the risks would seem to be remote.
• Pollution from trucks. Drillers use trucks to haul sand, cement and fluids, and those certainly increase traffic congestion and pollution. We think the trade-off between these effects and economic development are for states and localities to judge, keeping in mind that externalities decrease as drillers become more efficient.
• Shale exploration is unregulated. Environmentalists claim fracking was “exempted” in 2005 from the federal Safe Water Drinking Act, thanks to industry lobbying. In truth, all U.S. companies must abide by federal water laws, and what the greens are really saying is that fracking should be singled out for special and unprecedented EPA oversight.
Most drilling operations—including fracking—have long been regulated by the states. Operators need permits to drill and are subject to inspections and reporting requirements. Many resource-rich states like Texas have detailed fracking rules, while states newer to drilling are developing these regulations.
As a regulatory model, consider Pennsylvania. Recently departed Governor Ed Rendell is a Democrat, and as the shale boom progressed he worked with industry and regulators to develop a flexible regulatory environment that could keep pace with a rapidly growing industry. As questions arose about well casings, for instance, Pennsylvania imposed new casing and performance requirements. The state has also increased fees for processing shale permits, which has allowed it to hire more inspectors and permitting staff.
Both Huhne and Lucas are doing their best to frighten people with these unfounded fracking lies, as they realise cheap gas spells the end of their heavily subsidised religious renewables scam.
Cameron is very worried about energy costs in Britain and the huge increases in energy bills caused by Huhne’s Green taxation to solve a problem that, frankly does not exist.
Global temperatures are the same as they were in 1979, sea levels are not rising, they are in fact falling 5mm a year, and not one single prediction of Climatic Armageddon has yet happened.
The Gaslands movie showed dramatic footage of householders setting light to the water coming from their taps – which phenomenon director Josh Fox said had been caused by fracking. Fox recently admitted knowing before he started shooting the film that the area had a long history of methane-contaminated water going back decades, but said it had “no bearing” on the decision.
If chosing the location in Fox’s words had “no bearing” on the decision, they why did his film not point out that methane in the water was a long standing problem?
Not only the Wall Street Journal can see the lies behind Gasland and it’s warming alarmist anti fossil fuel agenda, the Commonwealth Foundation found exactly the same lies as the WSJ.
The last word on Huhne and his religious fear of fracking belongs to Forbes:
The only real problem seems to be political: we have a Climate Change Minister, Chris Huhne, who seems to be insisting that we should not, ever, extract this gas for it will make windmills unaffordable or something.
To be honest, that’s really not a political position which I think is sustainable. Standing between 60 million Brits and a source of cheap heat and electricity is likely to get one trampled.
Posted on September 23, 2011, in Anthropogenic Global Warming, Church Of Climatology, Green Environmental Holocaust, Green Lies, Junk Science, ManBearPig, Oh FFS and tagged Anthropogenic Global Warming, Church of Climatology, Gasland. Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.