Environmentalists around the country have been protesting the “bomb trains” for several years now, but the 100 car unit trains are continuing to roll through hill and dale, towns and cities. This, despite the fact that we now know that fracked Bakken crude is more explosive than gasoline. The fireballs that have erupted lately dramatically illustrate this point.
New Study Predicts Frack Fluids Can Migrate to Aquifers Within Years. [ProPublica] – A new study has raised fresh concerns about the safety of gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale, concluding that fracking chemicals injected into the ground could migrate toward drinking water supplies far more quickly than experts have previously predicted.
In addition to causing general environmental degradation, earthquakes and poisoned water, it appears that hydraulic fracturing also leaks methane at dangerous levels not previously suspected.
Fracking study sends alert about leakage of potent greenhouse gas. [Pete Spotts | CSMonitor.com] – A new study finds that fracking is releasing methane, a greenhouse gas, from a Colorado field at a higher rate than estimates suggested. Researchers must determine if the field is an anomaly or part of a bigger problem.
From Gung-Ho to Uh-Oh: Charting the Government’s Moves on Fracking. [Lena Groeger | ProPublica] – Fracking has only recently become a household word, but government involvement with the drilling technique goes back decades. ProPublica’s chart traces officials’ moves, and levels of caution, over time.
Federal Agency Cancels Water Delivery to Pa. Town. [ABC News] – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency abruptly changed its mind Saturday about delivering fresh water to residents of a northeastern Pennsylvania village where residential wells were found to be tainted by a natural gas drilling operation.
Good morning. We have a bit more on the subject of hydraulic fracturing today.
Hydrofracked: One man’s quest for answers. [High Country News] – Louis Meeks is an alfalfa farmer in Pavillion, Wyoming. For decades after returning from his service in Vietnam, his well provided the cleanest water for miles around. Then, something happened.
For 35 years, he drew it clear and sweet from a well near the front door of the plain, eight-room ranch house that he and his wife, Donna, own. The water was so good that neighbors used to pull off the road to fill plastic jugs for themselves. But in the spring of 2005, Meeks’ water turned fetid. His tap ran cloudy, and the filmy water shimmered with rainbow swirls. The scent was sharp, like gasoline.
Read the full story from Abrahm Lustgarten here.
Also, I ran across this essay by John Kemp of Reuters, who basically argues that we shouldn’t worry about the risks posed by fracking, because the natural gas companies have been despoiling our environment and poisoning us for years anyway. Nothing new here. Move along.
Here are a few more articles of interest.
An Inside Look At A Fracking Well. [The Denver Post]
How Fracking Might Have Led To An Ohio Earthquake. [CSMonitor.com]
Ohio officials close wells after quake. [UPI.com] – Ohio officials say they have shut down four fluid-injection wells after a series of small earthquakes in and around Youngstown.