Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fracking starting to get some attention by US House democrats

From the Huffington Post

WASHINGTON -- Millions of gallons of potentially hazardous chemicals and known carcinogens were injected into wells by leading oil and gas service companies from 2005-2009, a report by three House Democrats said Saturday. The three Representatives are Henry Waxman of California, Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Diana DeGette of Colorado.

The report said 29 of the chemicals injected were known-or-suspected human carcinogens. The chemicals are injected during hydraulic fracturing, a process used in combination with horizontal drilling to allow access to natural gas reserves previously considered uneconomical.

The growing use of hydraulic fracturing has allowed natural gas production in the United States to reach levels not achieved since the early 1970s. However, the process requires large quantities of water and fluids, injected underground at high volumes and pressure. The composition of these fluids ranges from a simple mixture of water and sand to more complex mixtures with chemical additives.

The report said that from 2005-2009, the following states 100,000 gallons or more of fluids containing a regulated chemical under the Safe Drinking Water Act : Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Mississippi and North Dakota.


  1. But what about the Beer Runs? Who will save the Beer Runs?

  2. Actually I think they might just be blamed along with fracking for potential causing some earthquakes in our area. I mean, after all, with all those gyrations and all that weight concentrated in a half-square inch heel pounding repeatedly into the earth. Wait a minute, that's it- the city will probably cite the beer runs for not being built up to code in an area that's known for having an eXcessive amount of fault lines.

  3. I have looked but cannot find one validated instance of fracking causing contamination of drinking water. There are cases where "exploration" (drilling the hole) has allowed already in ground chemicals to infiltrate the water table.

    And, just the statement that "29 of the chemicals used in fracking were known-or-suspected human carcinogens means nothing without quantifying the amount of chemical distributed. Basically what parts per billion were added? If you look at most MSDS sheets of the chemicals we use at home, you will find that in heavy quantities they too are listed as human carcinogens.

    What we need is real science...not junk science dictating our responses to actions that we take in this country. I have no problems with congress looking into the issue, but most of these hearings are nothing but politics, and that leads to junk science.

    I hope the local environmentalist invite someone from the gas industry to talk with them about what is taking place and not just rely on a "filmakers" view of the complicated process of producing natural gas and oil.

  4. Tom Wade, I think part of the problem is that these chemicals are considered to be "trade secrets" and therefore cannot be thoroughly scrutinized by the scientific community. We don't need junk science anymore than we need junk drilling policies, which is what this version of hydraulic fracturing is. Also, you mentioned this (fracturing) has been around for years and years. From what I've read, the process which is ongoing nearby is barely about a year old, according to many sources I've read, and I don't mean left-wing sources, just good old fashioned sources,period.

  5. Agree with Maximiliano. As far as the presentation this past Sunday, the gas industry was invited to attend and there is promise that a few reps from one of the companies will be at an upcoming one. No one is relying on film makers.

    No one is attacking anyone, just asking questions and asking for disclosure of what is going into the fracking process. The current protection it has prevents from those who might be affected from knowing because of the "trade secrets".

  6. Glad to hear there'll be another one coming up. The news tonight said permits went from about 30 in 2009 to over a thousand this year. I wonder if any local drilling companies are in on the deal.

  7. Glad to hear the local groups will be inviting the industry reps to speak.

    When I say fracking has been around for years, I am talking the fracking of vertical wells. Horizontal fracking is somewhat new.

    And to answer Max's question, yes there are many local companies involved.

  8. Tom Wade, it would be interesting if you could get a spokesman for one of the local companies that's doing fracking in the Eagle Ford Shale area to appear on your show. You've got the platform.