What is "Fracking"?
is one of the new extreme carbon gathering technologies that is being used without due regard for the well-being of local people, the resources on which their communities depend, and the long term impact on the environment. It is the practice of mining for natural gas by injecting toxic chemicals mixed with millions of gallons of fresh water deep into underground gas-bearing shale layers. High pressure diesel pumps are used to drive this fracking fluid into geologic formations through a network of lateral tunnels extending thousands of feet horizontally in opposite directions from the bottom of the well holes with enough force to open cracks in the rock strata releasing trapped methane gas. Between 25% to 50% of the fluid is piped back up the well to the surface along with the gas. 50% to 75% of the remaining fluid stays in the ground posing a potential and permanent threat to drinking water should it find a route to the aquifers in the rock layers above. The gas is separated from the fluid and stored to await transport by tanker truck and pipelines.
The toxin laden fracking fluid returns from the well more dangerous than it began having picked up heavy metals like lead and arsenic during the fracking process. If it has been used in the Marcellus and Utica Formations it is also radioactive and contaminated with radium and radon gas. The fluid is stored in open waste pits allowing volatile chemicals to escape into the air where it can pollute surrounding land and water through inevitable seepage, leaks, and spills. Billions of gallons of fresh water will be turned to fracking fluid and can not be treated and recycled as drinking water. It must be removed from the natural cycle and treated like hazardous waste. It is transported to deep injection wells where it is pumped into underground rock layers, a practice which is now being studied for links to man made earthquakes at injection sites.
In the process of gathering, storing, processing, transporting, and distributing the gas some of it is lost into the atmosphere. Natural gas is about 90% methane, a very powerful greenhouse gas in itself. It does not have to be burned to cause global warming. It is 30 times more potent than the carbon dioxide gas which is currently raising the temperature of the earth. About 8% of the trillions of cubic feet of methane scheduled for extraction is predicted to leak off into the atmosphere where it will have devastating consequences for the world's climate. Studies at Cornell University based on the best available data are showing that far from being a clean fuel, when the impact of both the burning and escaping of methane into the atmosphere are considered, methane is as dirty as coal.
Professor Anthony Ingraffea of Cornell University Explains Fracking
Michelle Bamberger, MS, DVM
This is a continuation of the course provided by Physicians Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy in conjunction with Cornell University. For medical professionals and others looking to fulfill training or inservice requirements this course may be taken for credit by registering at their website, watching the high definition modules, and passing the online test.
Robert Oswald, PhD
Dr. Oswald received his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in Biochemistry studying the effects of toxins on proteins in the central nervous system. He did postdoctoral studies as a Muscular Dystrophy and Collège de France Fellow at the Institut Pasteur in Paris before joining the faculty of Cornell University in 1981. While on sabbatical leave from Cornell, he was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Oxford (1988-1989) and a Guggenheim Fellow at Harvard Medical School (1994-1995). Dr. Oswald is currently a Professor of Molecular Medicine in the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine and a Faculty Fellow of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. His work on the effects of drugs and toxins on the structure and function of central nervous system proteins has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the American Cancer Society. He is currently director of the Molecular Biophysics Training Program at Cornell. Dr. Oswald has served on numerous review panels for the National Institutes of Health and is on the editorial board of Molecular Pharmacology and the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Michelle Bamberger, MS, DVM
Dr. Bamberger received her DVM from Cornell University in 1985. Before attending Cornell, she earned her masters degree in pharmacology from Hahnemann University Medical College and then worked in equine research for two years at New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School. After graduating from Cornell, Dr. Bamberger studied at Oxford University and practiced small animal and exotic medicine and surgery in both Massachusetts and New York. Before opening Vet Behavior Consults in 2002, Dr. Bamberger returned to Cornell for training in the field of behavior medicine as a Visiting Fellow. She has a special interest in educating the public on veterinary topics. She has taught adult education courses and written two books on the topic of first aid. She devotes much of her spare time to gathering first hand accounts from animal owners and documenting the impacts that hydraulic fracturing for extraction of hydrocarbons has on both animal and human health.
Fossil Fuels and
A concise explanation of the science behind climate change. For a more in depth discussion go to Skeptical Science by clicking HERE
The Sky is Pink
Josh Fox, the maker of the award winning documentary, GasLand, has a short video out that addresses some of the latest misinformation coming from the Gas industry.
A brilliant, thought provoking, and hilarious perspective on the practices of the oil and gas industry in our unchained free market economic system.
Published on Mar 13, 2013
http://ClimateRealityProject.org - Narrated by Reggie Watts. We are all paying the price of carbon pollution. It's time to put a price on carbon and make the polluters stop the carbon destruction.
In just two minutes, this video exposes one of the greatest swindles in the history of mankind. Sadly, it shows how all of us have been tricked into picking up the massive tab for carbon pollution while fossil fuel companies laugh all the way to the bank.
Your first reaction might be to think: “It must be more complicated than that! There’s got to be risks and expenses I don’t understand. Surely Big Oil and Coal companies haven’t been allowed to shift the entire burden of their industry onto American taxpayers?!”
But they have. In fact, we’re literally PAYING them to poison our families and our planet. Every year, the U.S. Government (aka you, the taxpayer) forks over billions in tax credits and subsidies to oil, coal and gas companies. These are the very companies fighting against clean air and water standards and blocking the development of renewable energy technologies.
Ed Hashbarger explains why
he is against fracking.Ed Hashbarger, (ex-Marine, ex-Cop, conservative and Catholic, describes how the public can defend themselves from the environmental and human health impacts of horizontal hydraulic fracturing for shale gas and oil.
The Environment America Research & Policy Center
Over the past decade, the oil and gas industry has fused two technologies; hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, to unlock new supplies of fossil fuels in underground rock formations across the United States. “Fracking” has spread rapidly, leaving a trail of contaminated water, polluted air, and marred landscapes in its wake. In fact, a growing body of data indicates that fracking is an environmental and public health disaster in the making. However, the true toll of fracking does not end there. Fracking’s negative impacts on our environment and health come with heavy “dollars and cents” costs as well. In this report, we document those costs—ranging from cleaning up contaminated water to repairing ruined roads and beyond. Many of these costs are likely to be borne by the public, rather than the oil and gas industry. As with the damage done by previous extractive booms, the public may experience these costs for decades to come.
Click the title of the file below
to see the full report.
Track the Corruption
Oil Change International has developed an interactive database of our elected officials and fossil fuel corporations that reveals how much money our representatives are getting from oil, gas, and coal interests.
CLICK HERE to see how much it costs to buy influence with a member of Congress or a President.
CLICK HERE for an overview of the economics behind the fracking boom that industry insiders dubbed a Ponzi scheme.
Call (614) 340-9817.
2 - 2 - 2013
The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law recently condemned a private pipeline corporation’s continued assertion of legal authority to take Ohioans’ private property for its own benefit, and threatened litigation, should the corporation not discontinue.
CLICK HERE for the rest of the story
Letter of Support
Support House Bill 148 - Ban Injection Wells in Ohio
Class II Injection wells accept waste from deep-shale drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking). This waste contains potentially large quantities of undisclosed highly toxic chemicals such as benzene, xylene, naphthalene, formaldehyde, cadmium, mercury, arsenic, and radioactive radium, barium, and strontium. A U.S. Geological Survey report (12/11) found that liquid fracking waste from Pennsylvania had levels of radioactivity over 3,600 times drinking water standards and more than 300 times higher than Nuclear Regulatory Commission limits for industrial discharges to water. This radioactive material comes from deep underground and is more than three times higher than waste from conventional oil and gas wells. (Columbus Dispatch 9-3-12)
Oil and gas industry waste is legally exempt from federal hazardous waste regulations and from important portions of the Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act. These toxic fluids are legally designated “non-hazardous” by virtue of these exemptions––if tested, they would be deemed hazardous and required to be disposed of in Class I, hazardous waste injection wells.
In 2012, Ohio’s injection wells accepted 13,990,846 barrels of brine and liquid waste. 8,050,074 barrels came from out of state. Neither levels of radioactivity, chemical concentrations, nor actual chemical contents of truckloads are regulated or even tracked by Ohio authorities. In Ohio there is no chemical disclosure to communities as would be required of other waste under the Emergency disclosure to communities as would be required of other waste under the Emergency Planning Community Right to Know laws.
Because ODNR does not monitor for water contamination around Class II injection wells, and because even Class I wells in Ohio have leaked, we are extremely concerned about possible existing water contamination, about the huge volumes of liquids being pumped into our land, and about the rapidly increasing number of injection wells in our communities. Wells eventually leak. Period. State and federal records reveal that during the years 2007 to 2010 one out of every six injection wells inspected failed mechanical integrity testing. ODNR has a long history of ignoring repeated, flagrant violations. It does not enforce even its weak rules, ignores citizens' concerns, and denies evidence of problems or risks.
Many existing Class II wells are old production wells that do not even meet the current inadequate state standards for injection. Our communities also face great risk from truck accidents and spills. Class II injection wells have also been linked to earthquakes in Ohio as well as in several other states, including one in Oklahoma that measured 5.7 on the Richter Scale.
We/I hereby join the ranks of Ohio citizenry opposed to the injection of toxic oil and gas waste and to the permitting of additional Class II injection wells due to known and unknown risks and to the harm this industrial dumping inflicts on Ohio communities.
Email your letter of support for House Bill 148. Ban Injection Wells in Ohio
GasLand 2 will be shown on HBO. Check your cable listings for time and date.
Stop selling water to the
The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) is selling Ohio's water to the fracking industry.
1 In June, the MWCD sensibly agreed to temporarily halt water sales to the fracking industry pending further study and an update to its water policy. But last week the MWCD broke its promise and sold more water to the fracking industry.
2 This will contaminate it during drilling and pump it into earthquake-causing injection wells.
3 We know the board of directors is sensitive to public pressure because it agreed to a moratorium after local groups organized protests at its meetings. Now we need to double down and let the MWCD board of directors know we're serious about stopping water sales.
4 It's happening right next to lakes in the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District.
The MWCD board of directors has gone to great lengths to shield itself from public scrutiny. The board has refused to allow formal public comment periods on water sales or to conduct a study of the environmental impact of selling water to the fracking industry.
5 The MWCD board of directors doesn't even list its members' contact information on its website and has repeatedly refused to communicate with local activists. But we know from past experience that the board of directors responds when it is directly confronted by members of the public who are determined to be heard, so our friends at Food and Water Watch are going to hand-deliver our petitions to the five members of the board--William P. Boyle Jr., David L. Parham, Harry C. Horstman, Steve Kokovich, and Richard J. Pryce--at their next meeting on October 19.
Center for Health Environment and Justice files lawsuit against Ohio's fracking chemical secrecy laws.
NATIONAL RALLY - WASHINGTON, DC
February 17, 2013
RALLY AT THE STATE HOUSE - COLUMBUS, OH
June 17, 2012
waning days of an Ohio spring that obliterated high temperature records
here in our state and throughout the world voices were raised in
defense of our tortured planet.The emerging populist movement to ban
fracking blossomed in Columbus this June anchored by a grassroot network
of local organizations from across the nation who gathered to support
the efforts of their Buckeye brothers and sisters. They are working to
nurture and build a sustainable future for themselves and their
children but most of all they want to put an end to the sociopathic
policies of a state government that is trading our farmland, our
drinking water, our clean air, and our health for campaign
CLICK HERE for the full report
Ohio Groups Unite to Form “Coalition to Protect Ohio’s Parks”
Formal Coalition Launch and Press Event Held at Statehouse
May 17, 2012
The coalition unveiled a new website as part of the launch, www.ProtectOhiosParks.org. The coalition website is intended to serve as an information and action hub for concerned members of the public. “The new website will have information about the effects of fracking and logging on sensitive lands, but will also provide viewers access to a separate page for each state park and state forest, along with important dates and developments for each park and forest,” said Nathan Johnson, Staff Attorney for the Buckeye Forest Council.
Beyond the Headlines: Hydraulic Fracturing Edition
WMCO 90.7 FM
Aired Feb 28, 2012
Beyond the Headlines hosted Dr. David Rodland, Professor of Geology at Muskingum University; Frank Donia Local Business owner and Land owner; and Tim Kettler, member of the Coshocton Citizens for Truth about Fracking. Also on the agenda were the potential harms of fracturing and the social and economic impacts of fracking on the local community.
WMCO interview 2-28-12.mp3
Size : 38487.755 Kb
Type : mp3
advisory board to represent Ohio citizens
A selection of shale development advocates purporting to represent the health, safety, and environmental concerns of Ohio citizens has been organized in Pennsylvania with direction from the gas industry giants Shell and Chevron among others. This new organization, The Center for Sustainable Shale Development, (CSSD), is a collusion between shale promoters sporting “environmentalist” credentials and the gas industry.
Chief among these promoters is The Environmental Defense Fund, an organization that endorsed the use of toxic urban sewage sludge on gardens, pastures, and cropland in the 1970’s and 80’s. The Environmental Defense Fund recently received a 6 million dollar grant from billionaire shale booster Michael Bloomberg to facilitate fracking, (unconventional shale gas production), in our communities.
CLICK FILES BELOW for full story
the debate is over.
It's happening. It's real.
James Hansen: The One Thing We Should Be Doing to Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change
hard to imagine anyone who has done more to further our understanding
of the impacts of climate change than Dr. James Hansen. After 46 years
working a scientist and climatogolist for NASA’s Goddard Institute for
Space Studies, Hansen wasn’t content to simply catalog the dangers
facing humanity and our planet — he has been ringing the alarm bell.
CLICK HERE to read the article
A video presentation of Bill McKibben's
lecture that toured the nation in 2012.
I mean starting a "runaway greenhouse effect" that we cannot reverse and that can turn our planet into Venus. The sobering results of this article went viral on the internet and McKibben began a series of lectures around the nation that were sold out in every city he visited. 350.org made a video of McKibben's lectures. It is below along with a link to the original article in The Rolling Stone.
The Post Carbon Institute has posted a series of photos that reveal the real devastation this industry wreaks on the environment. CLICK HERE to see the images
It's happening in Ohio.
The first horizontal well in our state was drilled in Monroe County in the Marcellus Shale in 2008.
As of February, 2012 there were just 37 horizontal shale gas wells operating in Ohio with tens of thousands more projected to be drilled in the coming years of the gas boom. The reports below took place in early 2012.
Already we are seeing the first water wells polluted. Toxic, severely degraded living conditions are arising in the homes of Ohio families who have been the victims of fracking gone wrong.
As in Dimock PA, Ft. Lupton CO, Dish TX, Pavillion WY, and numerous communities across the nation the Gas Industry is taking no responsibility for the lives and property it is destroying while the state regulatory agencies, in our case the ODNR, are failing to hold them to account.
Welcome to Gasland.....
Filed by Jennifer Pignolet January 18th, 2012
The Medina County Gazette
GRANGER TWP. — In 2001, Mark and Sandy Mangan built their dream home on State Road.
More than 10 years later, that dream home is now a potentially explosive nightmare, and Mark Mangan said he believes hydraulic oil and gas drilling in the area is to blame.
CLICK HERE for the full story and an audio recording
Granger Township residents Mark Mangan, left, and Bill Boggs show the contamination in their well water they said was caused by hydraulic drilling in the area. Explosive levels of natural gas have been measured at wellheads behind their State Road homes.
(Gazette photo by Jennifer Pignolet)
Three years after drilling, feds say natural gas in Medina County well water is potentially explosive
Story by Bob Downy, Akron Beacon JournalPosted by admin on January 20, 2012
GRANGER TWP.: A federal health agency says potentially explosive levels of natural gas at two houses in eastern Medina County are a public health threat.
The problems in the two drinking water wells appear linked to the nearby drilling of two natural gas wells in 2008, says the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That news contradicts repeated statements from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources on the connection between the drilling and problems at the two houses at State and Remsen roads.
CLICK HERE for full story
Jaime Frederick speaks at Ohio StateHouse Rally
Jan. 10, 2012 - My
name is Jaime Frederick and I’m from Coitsville, Ohio. Shortly after
moving into my home in Coitsville outside of Youngstown, Ohio, 3 years
ago, I began to get seriously ill. I started vomiting on a regular basis
and had intense abdominal pains everyday. After numerous trips to six
different doctors, and several emergency room visits, test revealed that
my gall bladder had completely failed. No gallstones, it had just
stopped working, and no one could tell me why. I had my gall bladder
taken out but continue to have what seems to be a never ending
intestinal flu. It became so bad, that I soon developed an infection in
my intestine, as large as a grapefruit, that ate through to the outside
of my skin.
When I was finally admitted to the hospital, doctors said
that I would have been dead in a few days if I had not come in when I
did. They were baffled, and could only tell me this should not be
happening to a healthy 30-year-old woman, and that this condition is
typically only found in third world countries.
State links quakes to work on wells
By Joe Vardon
The Columbus Dispatch Sunday January 1, 2012 6:08 AM
Kasich administration has put a temporary stop to the disposal of waste
from oil and natural-gas drilling in wells within a 5-mile radius of a
particular Youngstown well — a well believed to be the cause of 11
earthquakes since March, including a 4.0 quake that struck around 3 p.m.
Officials from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources think that waste pumped into the Youngstown-area well, referred to as Northstar No. 1, has been seeping into a previously unknown fault line in eastern Ohio, causing the seismic activity. The moratorium, issued yesterday by Jim Zehringer, the Natural Resources Department’s director, affects four other injection wells.
CLICK HERE for the full story
12th Earthquake in Youngstown
By Bob Downing, Ohio.com
The quake on Jan. 13 was a 2.1-magnitude.
The quakes have been centered at a now-closed injection well for drilling wastes west of downtown Youngstown in Youngstown Township.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources continues to investigate the links between the quakes and the injection well operated by the D&L Energy Group.
The biggest quake, a 4.0, rattled Northeast Ohio on Dec. 31.
According to the Youngstown Vindicator, Ohio is looking at a ban on injection wells deeper than 8,000 feet, but such a rule has not yet been finalized.
Such a ban might produce fewer quakes if the injection wells were shallower, officials said.
Youngstown earthquakes raise issues on oilfield wastes from shale exploration
Updated: Monday, January 16, 2012, 6:43 AM
By Aaron Marshall, The Plain Dealer
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A New Year's Eve earthquake that shook homes in Youngstown has set off political tremors across Ohio as officials scramble to reassure the public that an expected flurry of drilling in the state won't jeopardize their safety.
Columbia University seismic experts have said the injection of hundreds of thousands of barrels of oilfield waste fluids into a fault line probably caused the quake, one of a series of tremors that have rocked the Mahoning Valley.
That finding has cracked open a wider debate that goes beyond the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to its aftermath: the millions of barrels of waste fluids that are disposed of in wells thousands of feet below the ground. Last year, deep injection wells stored 11 million barrels of the fluids in Ohio.
CLICK HERE for the full story.
Ohio quakes raise fracking questions
By Kristen Saloomey
Tue, 2012-01-17 03:52.
One doesn’t usually expect a crowd when the Youngstown, Ohio City Council holds a subcommittee meeting. But then Youngstown doesn’t usually have earthquakes. In fact, prior to 2010 you could go back more than 100 years and not find record of a single one.
In 2011, however, this city of just under 70,000 experienced 11 earthquakes. The most recent and most serious was a 4.0 that struck on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve. So when the Chair of the Utilities Subcommittee called a public hearing on the earthquakes - and the possibility that they were linked to the controversial gas drilling process known as fracking - the crowd was so large they had to hold the meeting in the local convention center.
Military Propaganda and Deception Specialists Used against US Communities to Promote Fracking, Deal with "Insurgents", and Write Local Legislation
gas industry is bringing ex-military mercenaries into our communities
whose mission is to identify anyone who expresses concerns about shale
gas development and treat them as "insurgents." That's
right, the same people who were trained to spread false information and propaganda among our foreign enemies are now being hired to set their sights on American
civilians who don't agree with the corporate business plan being forced on them. Listen to their own words caught on tape and then ask yourself, "Why should I trust anything that the industry tells me at this point?"
Oil Executive: Military-Style 'Psy Ops' Experience Applied
Published: Tuesday, 8 Nov 2011
By: Eamon Javers
CNBC Washington, DC Correspondent
Last week’s oil industry conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Houston was supposed to be an industry confab just like any other — a series of panel discussions, light refreshments and an exchange of ideas.
It was a gathering of professionals to discuss “media and stakeholder relations” in the hydraulic fracturing industry — companies using the often-controversial oil and gas extraction technique known as “fracking.”
But things took an unexpected twist.
CNBC has obtained audiotapes of the event, on which one presenter can be heard recommending that his colleagues download a copy of the Army and Marine Corps counterinsurgency manual. That’s because, he said, the opposition facing the industry is an “insurgency.” [ Listen to audio files below]
MUST SEE VIDEOS
GASLAND - The movie the Gas Industry doesn't want you to see
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD.
Obama’s Support for Natural Gas Drilling "A Painful Moment" for Communities Exposed to Fracking
An interview with Josh Fox and John Fenton, a farmer from Pavillion, Wyoming.
Excerpts from Gasland
NOW Interviews Josh Fox - video
NOW talks with filmmaker Josh Fox about "Gasland", his Sundance award-winning documentary on the surprising consequences of natural gas drilling. Fox's film—inspired when the gas company came to his hometown—reports on chronic illness, animal-killing toxic waste, disastrous explosions, and regulatory missteps.CLICK HERE to see the interview
Gas Boom will kill tourism
The Coshocton Tribune
A great wailing and gnashing of teeth is rising from the Ohio Republican Party over the perceived unfairness of Gov. Kasich’s severance tax on the fracking industry. It’s hard to stifle a cynical laugh and impossible to bite my tongue due to the ridiculous nature of their argument.
As if enough hasn’t been given away to the industry the GOP and the oil and gas interests that control them want more, more, more!
I would remind folks that our natural resources belong to us all, not just corporations and a wealthy few. Given the environmental disaster that unconventional gas development and its supporters are willing to risk, with a yet to be seen benefit to most of us, it seems appropriate for even more taxes to be levied on this activity.
The Ohio oil and gas law permits not only a general disregard for the property rights of landowners but also the permanent removal of untold trillions of gallons of fresh water from local supplies to be converted into a nearly equal amount of toxic waste for our children and grandchildren to inherit.
The patriotic fervor that the industry and its supporters have mustered for American energy development is about as hypocritical as it gets as increasing numbers of leases are held by foreign companies and the bulk of the gas harvested is destined for export.
As for so-called “clean energy,” methane gas is one of the most potent greenhouse gases contributing to global warming and the amount unaccounted for during the process due to leakage and mishandling is estimated to be far more dangerous then the CO2 produced by burning coal.
Recently, Coshocton has been recognized as one of the top 100 small towns for tourists. Historically, tourism, clean water, wildlife and the serenity of nature have been a great asset to the county’s economy. I think it’s a safe bet that we can kiss that attraction goodbye as fracking pollution, incessant truck traffic and the short-sighted frenzy that seems to prevail takes over completely. Just ask a Carrolton resident.
Despite regulations gas wells leak
Submitted to The Coshocton Tribune, 2-20-12Published 4-1-12
The Tribune recently published an article entitled, “Anadarko discusses Utica Shale oil and gas expectations“. Statements in the article that tend to dismiss the impact of hydraulic fracturing on water quality need to be examined. A spokesman from the OSU Monroe County Extension said, “So far, there has not been an instance in which a drill site that doesn't have a leaky casing impacts water quality.” He then goes on to reference how wells are constructed, tested, and inspected leaving the impression that all these safeguards are adequate and that leaking wells are a rare occurrence. Here are the facts.
One in twenty wells will leak immediately, and the numbers rise dramatically as wells age, (source: Cornell University Professor Dr. Anthony Ingraffea lecturing at Moncton, New Brunswick citing industry data from Schlumberger Ltd. and a paper by Watson and Bachu, SPE 106817, published 2009. A video of Dr. Ingraffea’s lecture can be seen at http://www.napalmcreek.com/how-safe-is-fracking.php ) That is a 5% failure rate which doesn’t sound too bad until you look at the numbers. Chesapeake Energy alone is projecting that it will drill 12,000 wells across Ohio. That translates into 600 leaking wells from just one operator. That number will increase dramatically as the wells grow older.
According to an article entitled, “Shale Gas- A business plan very much in the red”, by Professor Marc Durand, a geologist at the University of Quebec, all the hundreds of thousands of wells drilled in the North American Shale will deteriorate. They are lying in brine that is many times saltier than seawater and has been laced with a host of chemicals. Thousands of miles of horizontally drilled well casings and the surrounding cement are compromised by having been shot through with holes from the perforating gun used in the fracking process. Steel corrodes, cement shrinks and cracks: nothing lasts forever. The wells are designed for a working life of 3 - 5 years, the time it takes to harvest the gas while it flows at a fast enough rate to be profitable. Twenty to fifty years after they cease production many of the wells will have eroded enough to provide a highway between the shale layer and the surface.
Here’s the kicker, fracking only gets the 20% of the gas that has seeped into the spaces that naturally occur in the shale. The remaining 80% is within the rock itself and it will continue to slowly leach out into a shale formation that has been opened by fracking fluid. What will be the effect of hundreds of thousands of deteriorating wells trickling methane and toxins into our air, land, and water for thousands of years? The gas industry doesn’t ask this question because once it has the gas it pumps some cement down the hole and it falls to the taxpayers to find the long-term answer. Professor Durant makes the point that the costs to a community of dealing with methane migration over time will far exceed the income generated during the brief boom.
Fracking: More information needed before we make choices.
Submitted to The Coshocton Tribune 2-19-12
fracturing, an increasingly common aspect of the oil and gas production
process, is not subject to the same standards as other industries when
it comes to protecting underground sources of drinking water.
Hydraulic fracturing involves the injection of fluids and chemicals into oil or gas wells at high pressure.
Other forms of underground injection are regulated to protect drinking water, but in 2005 Congress created exemptions for hydraulic fracturing to benefit Halliburton and other oil and gas companies.
Here are some facts:
Ohio law is clear on the practice of mandatory pooling, although the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is not. Mandatory pooling is a provision contained in the Ohio Revised Code by which a group of land owners may force an adjoining landowner, known as a non-participating landowner, to be included in their drilling pool in order to gain the required minimum amount of joined acreage. A 65 percent majority (ORC 1509.28) of those landowners may force a ruling by the chief of the division to form the plot, even against the wishes of a property owner. ORC 1509.27 also allows for this non-participating owner to pay a proportionate share of the drilling costs, "applicant shall be entitled to the share of production from the drilling unit accruing to the interest of that nonparticipating owner ... until there has been received the share of costs charged to that nonparticipating owner plus such additional percentage of the share of costs as the chief shall determine." The applicant is the designated owner of the well. As far as liability goes, only a non-participating landowner is specifically exempted.
That's the law folks, and I presume the rule of law will prevail.
As for the environmental effect fracking might cause, we soon will find out. Fracking has been used for a number of years, but it is a distant cousin to what is coming. Wells were drilled vertically, mostly contained beneath the drill pad and used about 100,000 gallons of water with proportionate amounts of chemicals. Today's method drills down up to two miles and then horizontally up to two miles, uses up to 5 million gallons of water per frack with tens of thousands of pounds of chemicals, and each well may be fracked up to 18 times. Compound that with multiple wells at a single drilling pad, in British Columbia there are pads with more than 50 wells. We aren't talking about the good old days any more; this is heavy industry in our rural neighborhoods.
The underlying point of my concern is the great lack of information we have to work with in making personal choices about fracking. We are in need of well-thought-out decisions and prudent use of our natural resources and environment.
After all, the gas isn't going anywhere, and it only gets more valuable every day.
Fracking threatens environment, property rights
Submitted to The Coshocton Tribune, 1-20-12
The privately owned, for-profit group organizing landowners in
Coshocton County to conduct directional drilling for Utica shale gas
have presented much information covering the supposed benefits of
hydraulic fracturing. Unfortunately there has been little other
information about the documented potential for environmental disaster
and the assault on county landowners’ property rights if they choose not
to participate in their neighbors' drilling projects.
Ohio’s oil and gas law specifies minimum acreage requirements and contains a provision called “mandatory pooling”. It allows groups of landowners with adjoining plots comprising a 65% majority to force non-participating landowners into their land pool to attain the minimum requirement. The pool may then drill and take the shale gas located under a non-participating property and force them to pay a share of the drilling costs out of any initial money that might be generated.
True, a royalty may be paid to landowners forced into their pool although the percentage and actual amount is merely speculation. The oil and gas law does protect the nonparticipating landowner from liability for “actions or conditions associated with the drilling or operation of the well.” This statement seems to imply that a participating owner could be held liable in the future should the lease fail to protect them; a disaster reaches insurance limits, bankruptcy of a driller or some unforeseen circumstance. The bottom line in this land grab is it can be done against a landowner's will and the drilling pool, perhaps his “friends and neighbors”, can require him to pay a share of the costs for a project he had no interest in or even is outright opposed to. The allowable amount can be up to twice the actual charges leaving a non participating landowner paying profit to the drilling pool and environmentally and economically penalized for simply declining to enter into their agreement.
The country needs energy conservation, not more greenhouse gas and environmental degradation. The county needs sustainable, secure employment to rebuild our communities, not here-today-gone tomorrow jobs that disappear when the gas is gone, leaving nothing but ghost towns like the economically depressed areas left behind by former coal mining operations.
Figures as high as $5000 per acre for signing bonuses are being dangled in front of landowners, waving promises of wealth and prosperity for a get-rich quick scheme sure to divide neighbors and our communities for mere greed and misplaced priorities.
Public meetings are being held to inform county residents of all the issues surrounding hydraulic fracking with the next being scheduled for January 19th at 6pm in the Frontier Power meeting room, 770 S. 7th. St., Coshocton.
Warsaw, Ohio 43844
Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers
By Ian Urbina
The New York Times 2-6-12
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WTAE TV - Pittsburg
Updated 6:49 PM EDT May 8, 2012
Washington County, Pa. -
Brian and Amy Smith seem to be the first example in western Pennsylvania of a homeowner being denied a mortgage because of gas drilling on a next-door neighbor's property.
The drilling goes on day and night at a new Marcellus Shale well in Daisytown, Washington County, and Brian Smith told Channel 4 Action News investigator Jim Parsons that he has no complaints -- except one.
"As far as drilling and the noise and the lights in the window? No," he said. "But when it affected the value of my home? Absolutely."
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January 19, 2012 By Andrew Maykuth
The Philidelphia Inquirer
Federal regulators said Thursday they will deliver drinking water to four households near natural gas wells in the embattled town of Dimock, casting doubt on Pennsylvania's decision to allow a Marcellus Shale operator to halt deliveries in December.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also said it will conduct its own water sampling at 61 homes in the rural Susquehanna County township "to further assess whether any residents are being exposed to hazardous substances that cause health concerns."
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to Water Contamination
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The finding is likely to shape how the U.S. regulates and develops natural gas resources across the Eastern Appalachians
By Abrahm Lustgarten , Nicholas Kusnetz and ProPublica Friday, December 9, 2011
In a first, federal environment officials today scientifically linked underground water pollution with hydraulic fracturing, concluding that contaminants found in central Wyoming were likely caused by the gas drilling process.
The findings by the Environmental Protection Agency come partway through a separate national study by the agency to determine whether fracking presents a risk to water resources.
In the 121-page draft report released today, EPA officials said that the contamination near the town of Pavillion, Wyo., had most likely seeped up from gas wells and contained at least 10 compounds known to be used in frack fluids.
Report on Duke University study:
Scientific Study Links Flammable Drinking Water to Fracking
by Abrahm Lustgarten
ProPublica, May 9, 2011, 2 p.m.
For the first time, a scientific study has linked natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing with a pattern of drinking water contamination so severe that some faucets can be lit on fire.
The peer-reviewed study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, stands to shape the contentious debate over whether drilling is safe and begins to fill an information gap that has made it difficult for lawmakers and the public to understand the risks.
CLICK HERE for full story and link to Duke University Study