Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...

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    Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...

    In Response to Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...:
    EPA implicates fracking in causing pollution Gas-Fracking Chemicals Found in WY Aquifer The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said for the first time it found chemicals used in extracting natural gas through hydraulic fracturing in a drinking-water aquifer in west-central Wyoming. Samples taken from two deep water-monitoring wells near a gas field in Pavillion, Wyoming, showed synthetic chemicals such as glycols and alcohols “consistent with gas production and hydraulic-fracturing fluids,” the agency said today in an e- mailed statement. The EPA found that compounds likely associated with fracking chemicals had been detected in the groundwater beneath a Wyoming community where residents say their well water reeks of chemicals. Health officials advised them not to drink their water after the EPA found hydrocarbons in their wells. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-08/gas-fracking-chemicals-detected-in-wyoming-aquifer-epa-says.html http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/environment/story/2011-12-08/epa-fracking-pollution/51745004/1
    Posted by airborne-rgr


    I read both articles with interest, but one frustrating thing about articles like these is that they only say compounds were "detected".  They do not say anything about the levels at which they were detected, or compare the results to regulatory levels. 

    As an example, the Environmental Working Group published an article earlier this year saying something like 100 drinking water supplies in the US had detectable levels of chromium VI.  What they failed to say is, without exception, every detected level was considerably less than permissible drinking water levels. 

    While this is interesting I think I'll hold judgment until after more detailed information is released. 
     
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    Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...

    In Response to Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...:
    In Response to Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated... : Two points: The levels are high enough that the EPA has urged the community to not use the water from the aquifier. The test results are serious enough that they are being submitted for outside review. OK three, If I lived in those communities you can bet your backside I'd be erring on the side of caution. As the story says, the chemicals found are specific to fracking and are known caricinogens. So, you may not jump to conclusions from here I would be willing to bet that attitude will change the closer you move towards the aguifier.
    Posted by airborne-rgr


    These articles only say compounds were detected, they don't say anything useful about levels.  It's a proactive step towards protection of public health that the agency would recommend alternate drinking water sources until more information can be developed.  To do anything other would be irresponsible.  We agree that erring on the side of caution is appropriate.

    If I were living in the community, you can bet your backside that I'd be interested in knowing specifically what and how much was detected.  But the articles do not give any useful information...
     
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    Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...

    Admittedly I don't know much about drilling for oil, ok I actually know nothing about it : )
    But is it not possible to drill safely without causing all sorts of pollution? 
     
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    Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...

    Everything is a trade off.  Do they frack in China?  Yes.  Do they worry about pollution?  No.  Maybe Andy Stern should have included that little fun fact in his article throwing adoration for the ability of a totalitarian regime to have great economic growth.

    Regulation has a cost.  Maybe it's worth it, maybe it's not.  I would not jump to the conclusion that fracking is always bad, nor would I jump to the conclusion that it is always right.  I will draw the conclusion that if it is regulated out, it will impact oil prices negatively.
     
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    Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...

    In response to "Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...":
    Admittedly I don't know much about drilling for oil, ok I actually know nothing about it : ) But is it not possible to drill safely without causing all sorts of pollution?  Posted by APerfectCircle
    Fracking is different from drilling. It's a process by which water, sand, and chemicals are pumped into rock in order to crack it and release oil or gas. Opponents have always claimed that it is dangerous, mostly without any evidence to back up their assertions. It's a fairly new technology so it's hard to completely validate the claims from either side.
     
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    Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...

    In Response to Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...:
    In Response to Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated... : Not really. That would be like saying is it possible to have all the cars we have and not have any accidents. It's probably technically possible but not probable. Equipment fails, people make mistakes etc. Like they say, there's no such thing as a sure bet.
    Posted by airborne-rgr


    I was referring more to the process. I get the human error thing. That aside, is the process itself causing the pollution?  
     
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    Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...

    In Response to Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...:
    Regulation imposes costs. Duh. People prefer to pay higher for oil if it prevents them from being poisoned. Of course, I would not be surprised if negligent "thinkers" care less about the latter as long as the drilling/fracking happens in someone else's back yard....
    Posted by WhatDoYouWantNow


    Doesn't Andy Stern, Obama's best buddy, want us to emulate the China model?

    Then frack it and no regulations.
     
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    Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...

    In Response to Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...:
    Regulation imposes costs. Duh. People prefer to pay higher for oil if it prevents them from being poisoned. Of course, I would not be surprised if negligent "thinkers" care less about the latter as long as the drilling/fracking happens in someone else's back yard....
    Posted by WhatDoYouWantNow


    I agree that most reasonable people would pay a little more for their oil to assure that they don't have environmental contamination that may impact their drinking water.  The articles do not cite concentrations or compare with any relevant toxicological or regulatory concentrations.  Without this information I think it's a little premature to start talking about poisoning.
     
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    Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...

    In Response to Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...:
    In Response to Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated... : Not talking about 12AM's articles. I read a couple in the NYT - isolated accounts from people who signed contracts without being careful and eventually had their groundwater tested, and it was deemed unsafe.
    Posted by WhatDoYouWantNow


    Do the NYT articles provide specifics? What's "unsafe"?  Compared to what?  There are a number of questions I can come up with off the top of my head that I don't expect answers for from you, or the articles.  I don't mean to diminish a potential problem, it's probably real and can be traced back to a source, but without specifics the articles are not very useful.
     
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    Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...

    In Response to Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...:
    Detection of high concentrations of benzene, xylenes, gasoline range organics, diesel range organics, and total purgeable hydrocarbons in ground water samples from shallow monitoring wells near pits indicates that pits are a source of shallow ground water contamination in the area of investigation. When considered separately, pits represent potential source terms for localized ground water plumes of unknown extent. When considered as whole they represent potential broader contamination of shallow ground water. A number of stock and domestic wells in the area of investigation are fairly shallow (e.g., < 30 meters below ground surface) representing potential receptor pathways. Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX) were detected in MW02 at concentrations of 246, 617, 67, and 750 micrograms per liter, respectively. Trimethylbenzenes were detected in MW02 at 105 micrograms per liter. Gasoline range organics were detected in MW01 and MW02 at 592 and 3710 micrograms per liter. Diesel range organics were detected in MW01 and MW02 at 924 and 4050 micrograms per liter, respectively. Aromatic solvent (typically BTEX mixture) was used in a breaker. Diesel oil (mixture of saturated and aromatic hydrocarbons including naphthalenes and alkylbenzenes) was used in a guar polymer slurry/liquid gel concentrate and in a solvent. Petroleum raffinates (mixture of paraffinic, cycloparaffinic, olefinic, and aromatic hydrocarbons) were used in a breaker. Heavy aromatic petroleum naphtha (mixture of paraffinic, cycloparaffinic and aromatic hydrocarbons) was used in surfactants and in a solvent. Toluene and xylene were used in flow enhancers and a breaker. Here's the EPA report: http://www.epa.gov/region8/superfund/wy/pavillion/EPA_ReportOnPavillion_Dec-8-2011.pdf
    Posted by airborne-rgr


    This is useful.  My only complaint was with the newspaper article not providing specifics.
     
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    Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...

    In Response to Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...:
    In Response to Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated... : Geepers, are you going to argue it's not the benzine that kills you, it's the absence of clean water? Sorry the article didn't state the obvious, that benzine is a known carcinogen. The report’s key paragraph states: EPA’s analysis of samples taken from the Agency’s deep monitoring wells in the aquifer indicates detection of synthetic chemicals, like glycols and alcohols consistent with gas production and hydraulic fracturing fluids, benzene concentrations well above Safe Drinking Water Act standards and high methane levels. Here's the rub, once an aquifier is contaminated there is no known solution to fix it. The US is now a net exporter of fossil fuel. That indicates we already have enough energy and the supply from fracking is surplus, not an imperitive.
    Posted by airborne-rgr


    Here's another rub:  Bezene is not used in fracking, and benzene, based on the epa's own data, is from surface contaminants, like gasoline, plastic factories,  and landfills.
     
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    Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...

    In Response to Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...:
    In Response to Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated... : Do you enjoy being the useful idiot and holding yourself up for ridicule and laughter?
    Posted by airborne-rgr



    Facts, Airbore, are what make arguments.  Here is what EPA says about benzene sources:

    Sources and Potential Exposure

    • Individuals employed in industries that manufacture or use benzene may be exposed to the highest levels of benzene. (1)
    • Benzene is found in emissions from burning coal and oil, motor vehicle exhaust, and evaporation from gasoline service stations and in industrial solvents. These sources contribute to elevated levels of benzene in the ambient air, which may subsequently be breathed by the public. (1)
    • Tobacco smoke contains benzene and accounts for nearly half the national exposure to benzene. (1)
    • Individuals may also be exposed to benzene by consuming contaminated water. (1

    The Benzene is likely a surface contaminant, perhaps the diesel fuel used by the equipment around the well.  Still, not good, but fracking itself is likely not the issue.

    Look up the chemicals actually used in fracking.  you won't find Benzene, Toulene, Xylene.  Why?  they don't do anything to enable the fracking.

    Now, don't confuse this with that fracking may be bad, but it hasn't been proven so, and denfinitely hasn't been proven with the chemicals you mention.

     
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    Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...

    In Response to Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...:
    In Response to Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated... : Ohhh spanky, spanky, spanky... forever proving to be the useful idiot. Umm, that little snippet you pasted is from the Air Toxics Website of the EPA, as in air pollution. In case you haven't noticed the subject is water pollution.
    Posted by airborne-rgr


    We know you love to trash Skeeter every time you have an opportunity, but in this case he may have a point, which is benzene is not used in the process.  If you review the MSDSs of the fluids used in this process, you'll probably find that benzene is not listed as a component.

    That said, benzoic acid is a common component and I don't think it's a leap to think that the carboxylic acid group can cleave from the main structure and leave benzene and the carboxyl radical as a products of degradation. 

     
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    Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...

    Fracking for gas deserves a chance.  If it can be proven to be done safely with regulatory oversight, then we should be doing it.  Our current energy supply is a messy business:  we risk miners lives for coal, we drag tailings all over the landscape and pollute streams, we use noisy railroads to move the coal to cities and factories, and we use leaky ships to import mega-tons of oil from hostile countries.  Pure lunacy.

    And lets not pretend that our tap water currently comes from some stream in Fiji.  The majority of homes (certainly virtually all outside cities) get their water from personal wells drilled about 50 feet from their septic drain fields. City water is taken mostly from reservoirs and rivers full of decaying matter from fish, foul and every species of animal. As vast areas are paved, roofed or fertilized with chemicals, runoff carries various chemicals from our modern society directly into the sources of our water.
     
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    Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...

    In Response to Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated...:
    In Response to Re: Yep, drill, baby drill. To heck with the groundwater pollution. Clean, safe water is overrated... : Only two states require companies to disclose the composition of their fracking fluid, WY and PA, and even then they can withold elements due to proprietary interest. The list of components from the PA DEP lists Ethylbenzene, one of the primary and most hazardous of BTEX (VOC's), as an ingredient. http://assets.bizjournals.com/cms_media/pittsburgh/datacenter/DEP_Frac_Chemical_List_6-30-10.pdf A voluntary list for western states contains 'Petroleum Distillate', 'Hydrotreated Light Petroleum Distillate' and  'Naphthalene'. BTEX are derivatives of petroleum products. http://fracfocus.org/chemical-use/what-chemicals-are-used So I have no idea wher your getting your info, unless you're relying on squeeter...which would explain alot.
    Posted by airborne-rgr


    I got my info from the EPA.  Dubious source, I know....
     
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