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January 7, 2013
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Fracking and the EPA

:icontheredsnifit:
TheRedSnifit Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
[link]
:iconfplz:racking and the shale gas boom are essentially the only good things happening to the US economy right now, so naturally the EPA is taking steps to fix those problems.

Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," uses water and trace amounts of chemicals to create tiny fissures in deep-rock formations and coax energy-laden molecules to flow toward the surface. Countless studies have shown no negative environmental effects as a result, but the White House needs Green funding and is demanding regulations anyways.

So to drum up support the Environmental Protection Agency has investigated fracking in three locations. In Texas and Pennsylvania, the EPA was unable to establish a link between fracking and groundwater contamination, the main ill effect that critics warn against. But the agency claims to have found a smoking gun at its third test site, in Pavillion, Wyo. There, according to draft findings, EPA investigators found "compounds likely associated with gas production practices, including hydraulic fracturing" appearing at levels "below established health and safety standards."

The Pavillion study involves two water wells drilled by the agency in 2010 to test groundwater quality. Experts from the Wyoming Water Development Commission and elsewhere sharply criticized the EPA's results on several grounds, including that EPA investigators didn't follow their own guidelines on the timeliness of the testing and the purity of the water samples. The federal Bureau of Land Management said that "much more robust" testing would be needed to properly draw conclusions. So the EPA agreed to test the wells again, in April and May of last year 2012. In October, it claimed again to have found contaminated water.

But wait!

Unfortunately for the EPA, the U.S. Geological Survey had conducted tests alongside the EPA, and its investigators reported different results. Unlike the EPA, the USGS failed to find any traces of glycols or 2-butoxyethanol, fracking-related chemicals that could cause serious health issues if they entered the water supply at levels the EPA considers contamination. Meanwhile, the USGS found significantly lower concentrations of other materials identified by the EPA—including phenol, potassium and diesel-range organics—which might not have resulted from the fracking at all. The phenols were likely introduced accidentally in the laboratory, for example, and potassium might be naturally occurring or the result of potash contained in the cement used to build the EPA wells.

The USGS also noted that in constructing the monitoring wells, the EPA used a "black painted/coated carbon steel casing," and EPA photographs show that investigators used a painted device to catch sand from the wells. The problem is that paint can contain a variety of compounds that distort test results—so it is poor scientific practice to use painted or coated materials in well-monitoring tests.

The EPA, of course, is less concerned with science than they are with pleasing the green lobby, however. They initially refused to disclose this information, then later released it only while attempting to deflect criticism by releasing more test results and claiming that its data are "generally consistent" with the USGS findings. These actions only muddied the matter and postponed the peer-review process until after Jan. 15.

As the Tulsa-based energy and water-management firm ALL Consulting concluded: "Close review of the EPA draft report and associated documents reveals a number of concerns about the methodology, sampling results, and study findings and conclusions. These concerns stem from apparent errors in sampling and laboratory analysis, incomplete information that makes it difficult to assess the validity of the results, and EPA's failure to seriously consider alternative explanations for the results of its investigation. . . . Taken together, these concerns call into question the validity of EPA's analytical results and their conclusions regarding the sources of the reported contamination."




The most entertaining part of this entire fiasco is that the shale boom has reduced the US's carbon footprint far more than the Kyoto Protocol has for other countries. While a 10% emissions increase may seem like a lot, it's really quite low compared to other countries: Australia, for instance, pledged to let carbon increase by no more than 8%. Instead its 1990-2010 emissions rose 47.5%. The Netherlands promised a 6% cut but wound up with 20% higher emissions by the end of 2010. Canada, one of the pact's most enthusiastic early backers, committed to a 6% cut but saw a 24% emissions increase above 1990 levels (In 2011 Ottawa announced it was withdrawing from Kyoto to avoid the penalties it would have to face for missing the target, as have New Zealand, Russia, and Japan). The EU as a whole looks like it'll make its targets, although this is largely because of economic stagnation and the closure of inefficient Soviet-era plants.

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Devious Comments

:iconsexy-cowboy-predator:
Sexy-Cowboy-Predator Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
The EPA is as crooked at the FDA and USDA. Fracking should be an issue left to the community that it effects. Some communties will welcome it because it brings jobs, others will close their doors because of possible side effects. Longmont, Colorado is a good example of this. The people of Longmont were given the choice of whether or not to allow fracking through a vote, and fracking lost. Rightly or wrongly I can not say, but it was a choice that was given to the people, not the government or the gas/oil companies, so Id say it was a success.
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:iconkillerfreya:
KillerFreya Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, screw people who can't drink their own water anymore.
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:icontheredsnifit:
TheRedSnifit Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013
Except there was no contamination. Oh, well.
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:iconkillerfreya:
KillerFreya Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Tell that to my aunt and uncle.
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:icontheredsnifit:
TheRedSnifit Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013
Tell that to the USGS, who after elaborate scientific procedure found no indication that there was any contamination.
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:iconkillerfreya:
KillerFreya Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Except that they had to move because their water was fucked and nobody would do anything about it because no contamination exists, right? That fire coming out of their faucet is just an illusion.
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:icontheredsnifit:
TheRedSnifit Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013
I turned on my faucet once and a hippopotamus came out. Clearly, this green energy is contaminating my water with hippos!

The point being that I'm only going to accept actual scientific evidence, not anecdotes by people online. And so far, the evidence from the USGS says that no, fracking is not contaminating the water.
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:iconbeesull:
BeeSull Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013
I agree with Freya. I live in PA and people HAVE been forced from their homes.

I wish it weren't so, but it is.
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:iconkillerfreya:
KillerFreya Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh hey, let me google that for you:
[link]

And hey, look what it says:
"Several different hydrocarbon gasses, including methane, ethane, propane, and several higher molecular weight compounds, were detected in the groundwater-quality samples."
And a separate statement from them: "Oil and gas development and production operations at
the surface and below ground can affect water quality."
Only took me 5 minutes to find.

USGS statement to NY:
[link]
If it's too hard for you to read, it was awfully nice of them to have underlined sections.
Oh, look what's in the 3rd paragraph:
"Methane contamination of domestic water wells has occurred near selected shale-gas development sites in north-central Pennsylvania (Osborn and others, 2011)"

Not only that, but this too.
[link]

Either way, every state is different. What Just because a well in Arkansas doesn't show contamination doesn't mean a well in Wyoming or Pennsylvaia won't and vice versa.

YO DAWG WE HEARD YOU LIKE NATURAL GAS SO WE PUT NATURAL GAS IN YOUR WATER SO YOU CAN BURN WHILE YOU DRINK

I'm not totally opposed, but right now there's too little information, the technology hasn't caught up enough, and asking the companies to be responsible is like asking the banks to stop fucking up the economy again and again.
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:icontheawsomeopossum:
TheAwsomeOpossum Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
Well, I guess let's hope the EPA takes a second look at their studies then.

I rather doubt that Fracking is innocent of problems... there are things that go on which are pretty bad. On the other hand, I know the rumors can also be unrealistically exaggerated, like they are in Gasland.

So let's take another look at it.
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:iconscottahemi:
ScottaHemi Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
oh frack the EPA...

it makes sense to watch and fix polution problems but the EPA has simply lost it recently... they have become way to strict and now apparently they're skewing results... this is bad, this is very very bad...

a fun example is the 100W bulb issue. my family and many others in the Dairy belt others use them to heat livestock automatic waterers. with 100Ws now illegal. we have to use either two 60Ws, a heat lamp bulb, or a heat coil all of which use MORE power then a 100W bulb... WHERE IS THE LOGIC IN THIS D:
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:iconsexy-cowboy-predator:
Sexy-Cowboy-Predator Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
The logic is in the same place as this:

-EPA says coal burning plants must capture at least 20% of their So2 emissions.
-Plant A burns such a low sulfur coal that it has exceptionally low So2 emissions even before capture
-EPA tells Plant A that they must burn dirtier, more sulfurous, coal so that they can capture more So2.
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:iconscottahemi:
ScottaHemi Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
yeah that sounds like something they would do. XD
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
And this is why executive regulatory agencies shouldn't exist, and cases of harm caused by pollution and similar problems should be handled through the court system.
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:iconmaddmatt:
maddmatt Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
Matt Damon told me it was evil, so it must be.
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:iconragerancher:
Ragerancher Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
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:iconmaddmatt:
maddmatt Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
Myyyaaaattt. Daayyyymooonnn
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:iconragerancher:
Ragerancher Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
Matt Damon!
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:iconebolabearvomit:
EbolaBearVomit Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
I thought he was making out with men....
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:iconmaddmatt:
maddmatt Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
Well....to be fair, Liberace was one fabulous man.
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:iconebolabearvomit:
EbolaBearVomit Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
I remember him, as a kid I always thought he and Vincent Price were the same person.
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:iconmaddmatt:
maddmatt Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
Well, they both usually had a candelabra close by.
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:iconebolabearvomit:
EbolaBearVomit Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
I remember the shiny cloaks or robes or whatever it was Libbie had.
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:iconmaddmatt:
maddmatt Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
Kind of a pace setter for the Elton Johns and Lady Gagas that followed.
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:iconpoopgoblyn:
Poopgoblyn Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
"Economic Progress?! NOT ON MY WATCH" - EPA.
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
"We can't have some producing too much when others produce too little." ~Bureaucrat from Atlas Shrugged (a.k.a., Obama's EPA staff).
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:iconpyrohmstr:
pyrohmstr Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Professional Artist
Fracking cylons
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:iconjvonhellsten:
jvonhellsten Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconcylonplz:
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:iconpakaku:
Pakaku Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
Frack this, I'm not reading a thread that long
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:iconabstract-mindser:
Abstract-Mindser Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
That was my first thought as well, but I was going to simply post, 'Frack', sans the quotes.
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:icontacosteev:
tacosteev Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist
:lol:
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:iconebolabearvomit:
EbolaBearVomit Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
Fracking is a complex issue that requires actual dialogue. So that means we're never going to get anywhere with it.

Lobbies will spin their shit into gold, politicians in the pocket of oil and gas (like PA's Governor and Utah's legislature) will do nothing, and people who really have suffered will be up shit creek.

I posted industry insider responses to this shit months ago in the last big fracking thread.
The dude said bad operators are indeed causing damage and that needs to be addressed and the
links between fracking and small earthquakes should be studied.
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
I vote we do absolutely nothing until somebody actually presents scientific evidence of harm.
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:iconebolabearvomit:
EbolaBearVomit Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
How is that going to happen when it's individuals against corporations supported by government?
That's what is happening in Pennsylvania.
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
The people who are harmed...present evidence that they were harmed.

It's not hard.

For you to believe that fracking is harmful in the complete absence of any evidence to that effect is just blind faith in left-wing sensationalist media stories.
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:iconebolabearvomit:
EbolaBearVomit Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
"The people who are harmed...present evidence that they were harmed."

Bullshit.
Since when has information been the end-all answer?

If it was that easy we wouldn't have birthers would we?
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
Since this country was founded to be a place where people are innocent before the law until proven guilty. Notice that Obama was never tried and banned from the presidency for not presenting his birth certificate.
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:iconebolabearvomit:
EbolaBearVomit Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013
His certificate issue was never an issue except for the far right who dislike facts and ignore the reality of that situation.
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013
You're contradicting yourself here. If it was never an issue, then the facts would never have been made available to put the issue to rest. The whole point is there were no facts available until an issue was made of the whole thing.
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:iconcreamstar:
Creamstar Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
Actually, it is hard, and that's why there's so much debate and controversy over this. How do you prove that it's harming people? That's very difficult to decipher because there are so many variables to remove and consider that get in the way. People could be harmed by it but have no idea because they have no clue that it's their water that's the problem or that it's a result of fracking.

The major, troublesome flaw in your argument is that someone has to be harmed first for their to be evidence. Don't you think that's a problem? Somebody actually has to experience the consequences of these actions for evidence to be valid. Someone should not have to experience possibly severe consequences of a method of drilling for it to be considered dangerous. Consider it humanely.

Let's think about this from the perspective of the people this is being imposed on rather than that of the money/energy hungry corporations. It is clear that we do not understand the consequences of fracking right now, just as occurs with many newly introduced chemicals or processes; however, should the burden of proof really be on the people? To me, that's backwards. The corporations should have to prove that this is safe, first. It should not be up to the people to prove to the corporations that there is a risk. People are more important than corporations! The corporations should be the ones proving the safety of this to the people, not the other way around. This is another example of how we've been enslaved by these wealthy, elite businesses. They exploit our lands and health without giving us any say.

I follow the premise of "better safe than sorry" with situations like this. Although we don't know what the risks are yet, I'd prefer no fracking to prevent any possible risks. That way, all possible detriments are removed until fracking is proven 100% to be safe.
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
Here, I'm going to use your logic.

Your posts on the internet put lives at risk by causing cancer. I have no evidence of this, yet you should be banned by the government from posting anything at all on the internet until you can prove that your internet posts do not cause cancer. It's your responsibility to avoid putting lives at risk, so you should face criminal punishment for all the unregulated posting you've already done.
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:iconcreamstar:
Creamstar Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
Why don't we be logical? Fracking is a method of drilling. There are clearly are going to be environmental consequences to it, and these consequences should be well understood before drilling such that we do not damage the environment or other people in unforeseen ways.
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
Why don't we be logical? Internet posting is a method of conveying information over long distances. There are clearly going to be health consequences to it, and these consequences should be well understood before posting such that we do not cause cancer or hurt other people in unforeseen ways.
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(1 Reply)
:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
When you're going to attack an industry and put the livelihoods of real people as well as economic growth on the line, you need something beyond scare-tactics to justify causing them harm. You need evidence. Otherwise you're just hurting people out of blind faith.
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:iconhopeira9:
hopeira9 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013
Personally, i would like to see scientifically proven results that groundwater is not going to be contaminated by anything related to fracking. I have a hell of a lot of family drinking well water right next to fracking locations, and i would like to know for sure they are not in harms way.
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:icontheredsnifit:
TheRedSnifit Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013
The USGS evidence says that fracking has not contaminated the groundwater in the only place that the EPA claimed it was. I suppose that it's possible that sometime in the indefinite future that fracking will cause contamination, but there's zero evidence that companies and governments will allow it, in the same way that there's zero evidence that solar panel companies are dumping toxic by-products in rivers.
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013
Think of it this way: If your family members aren't already getting methane in their water supply, then the shale formation is not connected to it. If the shale formation were connected to the groundwater, then the methane would have escaped the ground long ago.
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:iconcreamstar:
Creamstar Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
The livelihoods of real people ARE on the line! The people who risk contamination are real people! What do you think they are, fake people, just because they're not part of the business? The lives of real people are more important than economic growth for a select few. I cannot emphasize that enough.

The industries are the ones that need to do the convincing to justify their drilling. No one else should have to do it but them.
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:iconsonrouge:
sonrouge Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
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:icontbschemer:
TBSchemer Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
The livelihoods of real people ARE on the line! The people who risk contamination are real people!

You haven't even provided evidence of that yet. Nobody has shown that there is any risk of contamination from any chemical in any part of the fracking process. Your statement is still rooted in blind faith.
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