1. I think we may reasonably work on the premise that the leaders of the natgas industry are not insane. In which case, what rational motive do they have for their evasive behaviour?

    1. I would agree with Dave. It’s all about money. I believe it was the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which stripped the EPA of overseeing fracking. Barack Obama voted for that bill as a senator. The bill had some good and bad items, it was a conflated bag of compromises and lobbyist give aways.

  2. What is so dangerous about fracking is that it destroys the barriers between geological formations, injects unknown chemicals in there, and threatens groundwater quality. Impacts at the surface at any drilling site can and ought to be mitigated, at least when the drilling phase ends and the production phase begins, but when you get into underground occurrences like aquifer chemical plumes and the like – these cannot easily be cleaned up. Even near-surface aquifer plumes – caused by former manufactured gas plants, poorly-managed industrial facilities, leaky underground oil storage tanks, and/or local governmental negligence (as in Love Canal) – are already very difficult to mitigate. The aquifer plumes potentially caused by fracking are much further below the surface and likely are impossible to mitigate.
    In a way, it’s worse than mountaintop removal mining. Destroyed landscapes can be rebuilt to the original geography of the region, and, with time, can regrow, while a destroyed subsurface geology may contaminate groundwaters for thousands of years, making them unfit for human or animal consumption. That even the general idea of what chemicals are involved is not being disclosed – hardly a trade secret – seems to be a clear signal that there is something that somebody is hiding. I cannot help but believe that this bodes ill for groundwater users…

  3. I saw a show on PBS on drilling, It may have been gasland — I didn’t watch the whole program, where fraking chemicals were discussed. They had an EPA worker (or perhaps she was an ex-worker), noting that the EPA did not know what to look for when taking ground water samples to look for potential contamination from fraking chemicals, since no list of chemicals and their concentrations is made known by Industry to the EPA, or other government agencies. No government entity knows!
    The reason industry gave for non-disclosure to the government and regulators, let alone the general public or affected landowners: trade secrets.
    OK, so I’m sure the industry has been working REEALLLY hard to work with government agencies so that 1) trade secret info is protected while 2) allowing government agencies to still monitor public & private land and aquifers and watesheds to understand the behaviour of fraking chemicals in the environment.
    I don’t know how, after this show’s very simple presentation, that anyone could think that this industry is anything but plain and simply evil. They get away with it, because the law allows what they are doing. But the industry has been heavily involved in influencing these laws. As the saying goes: be careful what you wish for. The industry may be getting the complete run of the land right now, thanks to their governmental machinations, but the public is losing what trust they put in the industry, which could cause much harm to the industry in the future!

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