Aussie Landholders Lock Gates to Keep Out Coal Seam Gas Industry

Fri, 2011-08-12 00:42Graham Readfearn
Graham Readfearn's picture

Aussie Landholders Lock Gates to Keep Out Coal Seam Gas Industry

IN AUSTRALIA, landholders are responding to the country’s rush to exploit massive reserves of unconventional coal seam gas with a simple but defiant gesture.

They’re locking their gates.

More than 100 environmental and land groups have joined the Lock the Gate Alliance, fearing the multi-billion dollar industry could threaten their land, their health and their food supplies.

But in Queensland, many fear their concerns have come too late. In the last 12 months, federal and state governments have approved three major projects in the state worth AU$66 billion (US$ 67 billion). As many as 35,000 wells will be drilled across the state, according to Government estimates.

The three projects, known as GLNG, QCLNG and APLNG, involve major national and international resources companies including BG Group, Santos, Petronas, Santos, ConocoPhillips, Total and Kogas.

But questions remain over the impacts of drilling and fracking on the viability of farm lands and vital underground water supplies, with a current Federal Senate inquiry now attempting to find answers.

Depending on the area, between 10-70 percent of the wells will be subjected to the controversial technique of hydraulic fracturing where water, sand and chemicals are injected into wells at high pressure to open up cracks in the coal seams to enable more gas to escape.

All three projects are geared for export.  The gas is to be extracted with billions of litres of water from thousands of wells in rural areas and transported along pipelines to a facility on Curtis Island, off the port city of Gladstone, where the gas is compressed into LNG and exported, mainly to Asia. 

Millions of tonnes of sediment will need to be dredged to create shipping lanes for the export terminal, raising fears for marine biodiversity.

Both Premier Bligh and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard spoke in glowing terms about the industry when they attended a ceremony to mark the beginning of work to build the Curtis Island export facility.

But UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has in recent days requested a monitoring mission to the region after reportedly expressing “extreme concern” over the LNG export project.

The World Wildlife Fund has already warned the dredging would be “disastrous” for marine habitats and animals including dugongs, turtles and the native snubfin dolphin.

Back on land, Queenslanders living on residential blocks in the Tara area have been staging blockades to prevent Queensland Gas Company, owned by UK-based BG Group, from accessing their land. The protests have led to a number of arrests including those of Drew Hutton, a co-founder of the Australian Greens political party and Bob Irwin, father of the late Steve Irwin, the famous “Crocodile Hunter” so loved by Jay Leno.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has been a vocal supporter of the gas boom, saying the three major projects would add $3 billion to the state’s economy and provide 18,000 direct jobs.  

But scrutiny of the industry’s developed has increased in recent weeks. The multiple potential impacts from the industry are being heard as part of a Federal Senate inquiry into the management of the country’s vital Murray Darling river basin, an area known as the nation’s food bowl. 

The Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee has staged hearings across affected regional townships as part of the inquiry, before returning to national capital Canberra to hear more evidence.

The inquiry is looking at the impacts of coal seam gas mining on property rights and land values, groundwater, food production, social and economic issues and health. The inquiry is part of a broader investigation by the committee into the management of the Murray Darling Basin, the country’s most important agricultural region producing more than a third of Australia’s food.

There is evidence of a “gold rush” mentality, the inquiry has heard, as the industry was set to pour billions into the economy through employment, investment and through royalties paid to state governments.

Doctors for the Environment Australia expressed a long-list of concerns to the inquiry about the industry’s potential impact on human health.

But before drilling starts, landholders have complained that they have few rights to prevent mining companies from entering their land in the first place. When they do, some have complained they are not being fairly compensated. 

Head of the New South Wales Farmers’ Association told a hearing that some landholders were not aware that exploration licences had been granted on their properties “until the explorer fronts at their gate”.

Other farmers have been forced to sign confidentiality agreements with gas companies, preventing them from discussing payments with other landholders or media.

During one hearing, National Party Senator Bridget McKenzie claimed that for every $1000 that one particular gas company made from each well, the landholder was receiving just 74 cents in compensation. 

The Mayor of Moree Plains Shire Council, Katrina Humphries, expressed fears that the coal seam gas industry could seriously damage her region’s agricultural industry. She told the inquiry that the water from the Great Artesian Basin, used for growing food, feeding livestock and for drinking, was the region’s “lifeblood”.

I don’t seem to be able to get any cast iron guarantees from anyone that they won’t be damaged somehow”.

“At the end of the day,’’ she added, “you cannot eat coal and you cannot drink gas.”

The committee is scheduled to report on its inquiry on 30 November.

Picture: Lock the Gate

Previous Comments

There’s no threat to underground water supplies from gas drilling.
Never has been.

Your continued failure to provide proof that gas production damages the aquafer pretty much tells the whole story.

Anonymous, you & Rick James seem to leap on anything fossil fuel related to defend it with out thinking or without anything to back up your statements. Why is that?

“There’s no threat to underground water supplies from gas drilling.
Never has been.

Your continued failure to provide proof that gas production damages the aquafer pretty much tells the whole story.”

Dude, he posted a link on that very thing.

http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2011/03/22/3169602.htm

And if you had any capacity to pay attention to detail, you would have noticed the WHOPPING big article on the right side of this blog called “Fracking the future”. Which illustrates the threat in detail, of which you say has never been there.

http://www.desmogblog.com/fracking-the-future/danger.html

Care to retract? Btw, hows Alberta going?

Albertas going great - at least the tar sands are. Havent you seen the lastest corporate videos. Those bitumen mines are turning into a green paradise.

Youve got to be a little impressed with how they are greening things up behind them, no?

“lastest corporate videos.”

Says it all.

Of course it does (and I called them that because sympathetic videographers had their expenses paid to go up and take a tour).

Still - look past that for a second. The regreening efforts are extremely impressive.

“Those bitumen mines are turning into a green paradise.”

Is that why, as of 2009, only 104 of more than 60,000 hectares had been certified as reclaimed by the province?

How much of that “green paradise” is made up of native plant species?

slow start but theyre rolling now

“Dude, he posted a link on that very thing.”

============================================

That’s not proof of anything. That’s just a news item saying that yet another left wing “environmental” political activist is (surprise, surprise) “concerned”.

============================================

“”Fracking the future”. Which illustrates the threat in detail, of which you say has never been there.”

============================================

Sorry, but self-referencing editorials on a left wing political activist web site – run by a PR company, no less(!) – also doesn’t actually count as proof. Just more unsupported claims.

It seems you have a very low, or nonexistent, standard of evidence whenever it suits your mood. But this isn’t surprising coming from someone that probably thinks polar bears are going extinct and driving an SUV has altered the temperature of an entire planet.

============================================

“Care to retract? Btw, hows Alberta going?”

Retract what? My request for a shred of proof to back up the hysterical claims? Why would I do that? I know your type doesn’t tolerate any questions, but no, I won’t retract anything.

And, as for Alberta, well, let’s see …

From Statistics Canada, Aug. 5, 2011 news release:

“Employment in Alberta rose by 12,000 in July, the third consecutive monthly increase. Employment in the province is now 3.8% higher than 12 months earlier. This is the highest growth rate of all provinces and higher than the national average of 1.5%.”
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/subjects-sujets/labour-travail/lfs-epa/lfs-epa-eng.htm

I’d say we’re doing pretty well … but what do I know?

“Sorry, but self-referencing editorials on a left wing political activist web site – run by a PR company, no less(!) – also doesn’t actually count as proof. Just more unsupported claims.

It seems you have a very low, or nonexistent, standard of evidence whenever it suits your mood.”

Ok, fair enough. But since I know you care what this “left wing political website” has to say ( otherwise you wouldn’t be here providing a dissenting voice), i will provide independent evidence NOT from this site….mkay?

http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-TOX/2009/August/Day-25/t20397.htm

http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/amall/incidents_where_hydraulic_frac.html

http://63.134.196.109/documents/RiskAssessmentNaturalGasExtraction.pdf

http://www.endocrinedisruption.org/files/NaturalGasManuscriptPDF09_13_10.pdf

http://www.riverkeeper.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Miller-Final-Report.pdf

http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=4918403&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=3

http://www.worldwatch.org/files/pdf/Hydraulic%20Fracturing%20Paper.pdf

http://63.134.196.109/documents/RiskAssessmentNaturalGasExtraction.pdf

Let me know if you want another dozen or so. I can easily provide it. Hat tip to the guys that provided me with literally dozens & dozens of links on this.

“I’d say we’re doing pretty well … but what do I know?”

I just needed to know I was talking to the anonymous I thought I was. The guy that lives in Alberta, knows a bit about the tar sands there & is very defensive of fossil fuels. Gee, I wonder where you work?

PhilM, mate, if read those references you provided (it appears you did not), one finds that they actually do not provide evidence. The closest thing that could be cited as scientific, is cited twice, and is a draft. Even that study is based upon mostly conjecture and innuendo. Driving heavy vehicles over farm land can/might/could cause damage to land, water and air?

Sigh! Most are PR and provide little evidence, only assertions!

“PhilM, mate, if read those references you provided (it appears you did not), one finds that they actually do not provide evidence. ”

I notice you didn’t bother to provide a link to any of the ones you disagreed with, you simply just dismissed them all outright. It appears you clicked on something else instead of the links I provided. Ok, well in the interest of the truth, let’s examine those links….one, by one…although this will be lengthy.

1) http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-TOX/2009/August/Day-25/t20397.htm

Why would the frack companies wish to hide what they were doing & force people to apply to the EPA for disclosure if it was all safe? More on that in point 4.

2) http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/amall/incidents_where_hydraulic_frac.html

No evidence you say? How about dozens of first hand reports complete with personal you tube home made video’s showing evidence? Here are first hand reports, excerpt:

Arkansas: In 2008, Charlene Parish of Bee Branch reported contamination of drinking water during hydraulic fracturing of a nearby natural gas well owned by Southwestern Energy Company. Her water smelled bad, turned yellow, and filled with silt.

Arkansas: In 2007, the Graetz family in Pangburn reported contamination of drinking water during hydraulic fracturing of a nearby natural gas well owned by Southwestern Energy Company. The water turned muddy and contained particles that were “very light and kind of slick” and resembled pieces of leather.

Arkansas: In 2009, a family in Bee Branch, who wishes to remain anonymous, reported changes in water pressure and drinking water that turned gray and cloudy and had noxious odors after hydraulic fracturing of a nearby natural gas well owned by Southwestern Energy Company.

Arkansas: In 2007, a family in Center Ridge reported changes in water pressure and water that turned red or orange and looked like it had clay in it after hydraulic fracturing of nearby wells owned by Southwestern Energy Company. They told their story on YouTube.

Arkansas: In 2008, a homeowner in Center Ridge reported changes in water pressure and water that turned brown, smelled bad, and had sediment in it after hydraulic fracturing of a nearby well owned by Southwestern Energy Company. He also told his story on YouTube.

Colorado: In 2001, two families in Silt reported a water well blow-out and contamination of their drinking water during hydraulic fracturing of four nearby natural gas wells owned by Ballard Petroleum, now Encana Corporation. Their drinking water turned gray, had strong smells, bubbled, and lost pressure. One family reported health symptoms they believe are linked to the groundwater contamination.

Colorado: In 2007, the Bounds family in Huerfano County reported a pump house exploded and contamination of drinking water during hydraulic fracturing of nearby wells owned by Petroglyph Energy.

Colorado: In June, 2010, the day hydraulic fracturing began on a nearby gas well in Las Animas County, landowner Tracy Dahl checked his cistern and found approximately 500 gallons of grayish brown murky water where water had previously run clear for years. The Dahls have extensive water testing documentation going back many years, verifying that their water has always been clean and clear. They were told by Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (“COGCC”) staff that the water could not be tested for chemicals in the hydraulic fracturing fluid because there is insufficient information about the chemicals used. Three monitor wells on the ranch are now producing methane at an escalating rate.

New Mexico: A 2004 investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found two residents who reported that the quality of their water was affected by hydraulic fracturing.

New York: In 2007, the Lytle family in Seneca County reported contamination of drinking water the morning after hydraulic fracturing of a nearby natural gas well owned by Chesapeake Energy Corporation. The water turned gray and was full of sediment.

New York: In 2009, the Eddy family in Allegany County reported contamination of drinking water during hydraulic fracturing of a nearby well owned by U.S. Energy Development Corporation. The water turned “foamy, chocolate-brown.”

North Dakota: The North Dakota non-profit organization Bakken Watch reports very serious health symptoms in humans, livestock, and pets after nearby hydraulic fracturing. Their website has photos of sick animals, pit leaks, and corroded tanks. North Dakota state legislators admit they are “understaffed and overwhelmed” and “struggling to provide adequate oversight amid an explosion of activity in North Dakota’s oil patch.”

Ohio: In 2007, there was an explosion of a water well and contamination of at least 22 other drinking water wells in Bainbridge Township after hydraulic fracturing of a nearby natural gas well owned by Ohio Valley Energy Systems. According to the State investigation, one of the contributing factors to this incident is that: “the frac communicated directly with the well bore and was not confined within the “Clinton” reservoir.”

Pennsylvania: A gas well near the home of the Simons family in Bradford County was drilled in 2009 and re-fracked in February, 2011. Shortly after the 2011 operation, the Simons family reports that their tap water turned gray and hazy. After the water changed, family members began getting severe rashes with oozing blisters, and one child had to be taken to the hospital for torrential nosebleeds that would not stop, nausea and severe headaches. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) tested the water and found very high levels of methane and other contaminants in the water, but said it was safe to drink. Since the Simons family stopped using any of their water, these symptoms have gone away but the water still “stinks awfully; it is a scummy, rotten, nasty smell…”

Pennsylvania: In September, 2010, a lawsuit was filed by 13 families who say they have been and continue to be exposed to contaminated drinking water linked to hydraulic fracturing. Eight different properties in Susquehanna County are said to have contaminated drinking water. One child has neurological symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic substances. Southwestern Energy, the company operating the well near these families, responded that it promptly investigated all complaints and that both the company and the Pennsylvania Department of the Environment independently tested the water and found no link between gas operations and the water quality and no problems with the integrity of the gas well.

Pennsylvania: In 2009, the Zimmerman family of Washington County reported contamination of drinking water after hydraulic fracturing of nearby natural gas wells owned by Atlas Energy. Water testing on their farm found arsenic at 2,600 times acceptable levels, benzene at 44 times above limits, naphthalene at five times the federal standard, and mercury and selenium levels above official limits.

Pennsylvania: In 2008, two families in Gibbs Hill reported contamination of drinking water after hydraulic fracturing of a nearby natural gas well owned by Seneca Resources Corporation. Their water had strong fumes, caused burning in lungs and sinuses after showering, and caused burning in the mouth immediately upon drinking. The state found that the company had not managed the pressure in the well properly and had spilled used hydraulic fracturing fluids that contaminated the drinking water supply.

Pennsylvania: In 2009, families in Bradford Township reported contamination of drinking water after hydraulic fracturing of nearby natural gas wells owned by Schreiner Oil & Gas. The drinking water of at least seven families has been contaminated.

Pennyslvania: In 2009, the Smitsky family in Hickory reported contamination of their drinking water after hydraulic fracturing of nearby natural gas wells owned by Range Resources. Their water became cloudy and foul-smelling. Testing found acrylonitrile, a chemical that may be used in hydraulic fracturing.

Pennsylvania: A family in Bradford County reports that its water turned black and became flammable from methane contamination in 2009 after hydraulic fracturing of a nearby well operated by Chesapeake Energy. The water cleared for a while but turned black again in 2010. Relatives living down the road also report their water turning black in 2010.

Texas: Larry Bisidas is an expert in drilling wells and in groundwater. He is the owner of Bisidas Water Well Drilling in Wise County, and has been drilling water wells for 40 years. Two water wells on his property became contaminated in 2010. When his state regulator stated that there has been no groundwater contamination in Texas related to hydraulic fracturing, Mr. Bisidas replied: “”All they’ve gotta do is come out to my place, and I’ll prove it to them.”

Texas: In Wise County, Catherine and Brett Bledsoe report that their drinking water became contaminated in 2010 soon after hydraulic fracturing began on two natural gas wells bordering their property. The water stung their eyes during showers, and their animals refused to drink the water. Without any assistance from regulators, the Bledsoes paid for their own water testing. The testing found benzene, a known carcinogen, at double the safe levels.

Texas: In 2007, three families who share an aquifer in Grandview reported contamination of drinking water after hydraulic fracturing of a nearby well owned by Williams. They experienced strong odors in their water, changes in water pressure, skin irritation, and dead livestock. Water testing found toluene and other contaminants.

Texas: The Scoma family in Johnson County is suing Chesapeake Energy, claiming the company contaminated their drinking water with benzene and petroleum by-products after hydraulic fracturing of natural gas wells near the Scoma home. The family reports that its drinking water sometimes runs an orange-yellow color, tastes bad and gives off a foul odor.

Texas: Tarrant County Commissioner J.D. Johnson, who lives in the Barnett shale area, reported groundwater contamination immediately after two gas wells on his property were hydraulically fractured. His water turned a dark gold color and had sand in it.

Texas: Carol Grosser, in south Texas, noticed changes in her water after a neighbor told her a nearby well was being hydraulically fractured. Carol noticed changes in her water pressure and rust-colored residue in her stock tanks. The fish in her tanks died, and some of her goats had abnormal milk production and produced kids with unusual birth defects.

Texas: Toby Frederick began noticing a foul odor and discoloration in his water after “an oil company blew out some casing during a hydraulic fracturing job northeast of his property.” Mr. Frederick paid for his own water samples, which found traces of benzene, a known carcinogen, in his water. He sent samples to his local Ground Water Conservation District, but never received any results. The Texas Railroad Commission told him his water was drinkable, even though it is brown and smells like diesel fuel.

Texas: The Executive Director of the Upper Trinity River Groundwater Conservation District in north Texas stated that the District “gets ‘regular reports’ from property owners who said that ‘since a particular [gas] well had been fracked, they’ve had problems’ with their water wells, such as sand in them, saltier water or reduced water output….”

Texas: Susan Knoll in the Barnett shale reports that last year her drinking water became foamy right after hydraulic fracturing of a well adjacent to her property. Since that time, additional gas wells have been fractured near her home and her drinking water has continually gotten worse. It sometimes foams, becomes oily, and has strong odors that burn Susan’s nose when she smells her water. Susan has a lot of videos and more information on her blog.

Texas: Grace Mitchell, a resident of Johnson County, Texas, is suing Encana and Chesapeake. According to her lawsuit, soon after drilling and hydraulic fracturing took place near her home in 2010, her water became contaminated, feeling slick to the touch and giving off an oily, gasoline-like odor. Testing results performed on her well water confirmed it was contaminated with various chemicals, including C-12-C28 hydrocarbons, similar to diesel fuel.

Texas: The Harris family of Denton County, Texas, is suing Devon Energy. They say that their water became contaminated soon after Devon commenced drilling and hydraulic fracturing near their home in 2008, and that their water became polluted with a gray sediment. Testing results performed on the well water found contamination with high levels of metals: aluminum, arsenic, barium, beryllium, calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, lithium, magnesium, manganese, nickel, potassium, sodium, strontium, titanium, vanadium, and zinc.

Virginia: Citizens reported drinking water contamination after hydraulic fracturing. Water was murky and had oily films, black sediments, methane, and diesel odors. Individuals experienced rashes from showering. The Buchanan Citizens Action Group reported over 100 documented complaints of adverse effects of hydraulic fracturing and the Dickenson County Citizens Committee reported ground water quality deteriorated throughout the county as a result of the large number of hydraulic fracturing events.

West Virginia: The Hagy family in Jackson County, West Virginia, is suing four oil and gas companies for contaminating their drinking water. They say their water had “a peculiar smell and taste” and the parents as well as their two children are suffering from neurological symptoms. A news article reports that the lawsuit makes the connection between the drinking water contamination and the hydraulic fracturing process.

West Virginia: In Marshall County, Jeremiah Magers reported in October, 2010, that “As soon as they ‘fracked’ those gas wells, that’s when my water well started getting gas in it.” He also lost all the water in his well.

West Virginia: In Wetzel County, Marilyn Hunt reported to the EPA in 2010 that: “frac drilling is contaminating the drinking water here.” Residents report health symptoms, such as rashes and mouth sores, as well as illness in their lambs and goats, which they suspect is linked to drinking water contamination.

Wyoming: Families in the small town of Pavillion have been reporting contamination of their drinking water for at least ten years. Hydraulic fracturing has been used in the many wells in the area owned by Encana Corporation. Drinking water has turned black, smelled bad, and tasted bad. Individuals report medical symptoms they believe are related to water contamination. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is investigating and has found contamination in 11 water wells, including toxic chemicals that may be from hydraulic fracturing fluids. Further tests are needed to determine the source of contamination.

3) http://63.134.196.109/documents/RiskAssessmentNaturalGasExtraction.pdf

Excerpt:

Between two and four percent of shale gas well projects in New York will pollute local ground-water over the short term. Serious regulatory violation rates will exceed twelve percent.
• More than one of every six shale gas wells will leak fluids to surrounding rocks and to the surface over the next century.
• Each gas well pad, with its associated access road and pipeline, will generate a sediment discharge of approximately eight tons per year into local waterways, further threatening federally endangered mollusks and other aquatic organisms.
• Construction of access roads and pipelines will fragment field and forest habitats, further threatening plants and animals which are already species of concern.
2
• Some chemicals in ubiquitous use for shale gas exploration and production, or consistently present in flowback fluids, constitute human health and environmental hazards when present at extremely low concentrations. Potential exposure effects for humans will include poisoning of susceptible tissues, endocrine disruption syndromes, and elevated risks for certain cancers.
• Exposures of gas field workers and neighbors to toxic chemicals and noxious bacteria are exacerbated by certain common practices, such as air/foam-lubricated drilling and the use of impoundments for flowback fluids. These methods, along with the intensive use of diesel-fueled equipment, will degrade air quality and may cause a recently described “down-winder’s syndrome” in humans, livestock and crops.
• State officials have not effectively managed oil and gas exploration and production in New York, evidenced by thousands of undocumented or improperly abandoned wells and numerous incidents of soil and water contamination. Human health impacts from these incidents appear to include abnormally high death rates from glandular and reproductive system cancers in men and women. Improved regulations and enhanced enforcement may reasonably be anticipated to produce more industry penalties, but not necessarily better industry practices, than were seen in the past.
Overall, proceeding with any new projects to extract methane from unconventional reservoirs by current practices in New York State is highly likely to degrade air, surface water and ground-water quality, to harm humans, and to negatively impact aquatic and forest ecosystems. Mitigation measures can partially reduce, but not eliminate, the anticipated damage.

4) http://www.endocrinedisruption.org/files/NaturalGasManuscriptPDF09_13_10.pdf

The fracking companies have the benefit of their practices largely being except from scrutiny. You cant say there is a problem, if you arent allowed to investigate can you?

Excerpt: In tandem with federal support for increased leasing, legislative efforts have granted
exclusions and exemptions for oil and gas exploration and production from a number of federal
environmental statutes, including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Comprehensive
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, better known as the
Superfund Act), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Toxic Release Inventory
under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA),

I could continue with each one if you like, but this post has already become lengthy & I have proven that you lied & were trying to dismiss the evidence without actually pointing to anything in particular. I doubt whether you clicked on a single link there.

PhilM, congratulations on finally reading your own references. The EPA reference has little to do with fracking. It is a call for comment on a proposed rule change forcing companies to make public their fracking fluids.

I absolutely refute you one DRAFT scientific report
which provide no to little evidence but does make some unsubstantiated assertions drawn from shoddy sampling.

Your remaining anecdotes are just that, unsubstantiated stories.

If you live in an area with drilled water wells, consider this little truism, every well in your area will end with an open pipe right at the level of the aquifer. All those wells use water while being drilled. Do you think any of them disturb the aquifer? Actually, NO!

Oil and gas wells also use fluids while drilling but they drill well past the aquifer and end thousands of feet/meters from the aquifer.

Both water and oil/gas wells drill within casings that unless broken maintain the integrity of the drilling fluids. Water wells are often within 30 meters of one another in high density neighborhoods.

Those millions of US households that have competing sells drilled at those close proximities, with open ended pipes do not report the number of scary disruptions you have cited. Why might that be? Moreover, can your anecdotal cites provide any evidence that disruption was from aquifer disruption form others drill into their aquifer for water?

You have yet to provide actual evidence that any wells were disrupted from oil/gas drilling that did not have a breach in its casing. Moreover, that danger exist every time a water well is drilled, but the incidence are so minor or low in volume they are seldom reported. Why the lack of hysteria on that technology?

Phil M thinks it’s everyone else’s job to refute his nonstop barrage of bullshit anecdotes and editorials. The bottom line is: not one shred of solid evidence.

Anonymous2 do you speak from experience?

If there was no need for concern, no incidents, no risk, then why is it even on the radar? Obviously if no one was affected anywhere, we wouldn’t be here discussing this now would we? And you wouldn’t be here trying to defend it……….for an unknown reason.

It’s mighty brave to say there is no evidence , when few investigations are allowed. Like I pointed out before, there are many exemptions that allow the frackers to conduct business sight unseen.

“In tandem with federal support for increased leasing, legislative efforts have granted
exclusions and exemptions for oil and gas exploration and production from a number of federal
environmental statutes, including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Comprehensive
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, better known as the
Superfund Act), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Toxic Release Inventory
under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), and the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (Oil and Gas Accountability Project 2007). The most recent of
these efforts was an amendment included in the 2005 Energy Policy Act that prevented the use of the
Safe Drinking Water Act to regulate certain activities, known as hydraulic fracturing, which are
involved in 90% of natural gas drilling.
The cumulative effect of these exemptions and exclusions has been to create a federal void in
environmental authority over natural gas operations, leaving the responsibility primarily up to the
states. Although some states have oil and gas commissions to watch over natural gas production
activity, the primary mission of these agencies has been to facilitate natural gas extraction and
increase revenues for the states. In addition, when states issue permits to drill, they have not
traditionally required an accounting of how the liquid and solid waste would be handled. In short,
their focus has not typically been on health and the environment.”

“Your remaining anecdotes are just that, unsubstantiated stories.”

Anecdotes? Unsubstantiated stories? If an earthquake occurs, do you need scientific evidence to show it was an earthquake? Or can you just see the observed evidence? If you go to the hospital with a missing arm, do you need a panel of doctors to provide evidence there is indeed a missing arm…….or do you just observe that there is a missing arm & conclude….there wasn’t a missing arm before,but there is now….& there is blood…..sooooo, it would be logical to conclude there is a missing arm!

Action is being taken all over the world because of the simple observed fact of, there is perfectly drinkable water before the fracking teams show up & afterwards there isn’t.

If there wasn’t an issue, you wouldn’t be here trying to downplay the risks.

PhilM, what part of no evidence of causation do you not understand? I tried hard to explain how water wells are not affected by other local water well drilling. They are not! And those wells are many and much more dense. All terminate in the very same aquifer to which you have concerns. All wells, oil/gas and water, use fluids during drilling. If there was a real problem with drilling and aquifers, it would surely appear for drinking wells.

Green’s lack of actual knowledge of how aquifers, and how fracking work is the biggest cause for your confusion. You assert: “If there was no need for concern, no incidents, no risk, then why is it even on the radar?”

Really!??! Faking it and turning infrequent events into the everyday has been a key strategy for Greens. At this point “How Many Findings of the IPCC AR4 WG I are Incorrect? Answer: 28%”. From here: http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-many-findings-of-ipcc-ar4-wg-i-are.html

and this shows a disturbing trend: “Surging Retractions in Scientific Publishing ” from here: http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2011/08/surging-retractions-in-scientific.html The majority of retractions are from other than Climate Science, but it is well known that huge amounts of initial scientific findings are wrong. Even after “peer review.”

So citing anecdotes does little to prove anything other than you own naivete. On deed the sum of your cites show a serious misunderstanding of the fracking water well issues. You ignorance is not bliss, but just plain ole ignorance.

“PhilM, what part of no evidence of causation do you not understand?”

I can see why it’s a problem for you. After all you deny AGW. It’s simple really. Before the frackers….no polluted water…..after there is. Before the frackers……no gas smells or explosions in peoples basements…..afterwards, there is. You are being willfully ignorant.

“I tried hard to explain how water wells are not affected by other local water well drilling. They are not! And those wells are many and much more dense. All terminate in the very same aquifer to which you have concerns. All wells, oil/gas and water, use fluids during drilling. If there was a real problem with drilling and aquifers, it would surely appear for drinking wells.”

They use fracking chemicals to drill a bore for water? They are extracting gas from aquifers? I’ve been present for the sinking of a bore & I didn’t see drums of chemicals in use. There are literally dozens used in fracking & you know it. I also didnt see the boring machine leave chemicals all over the ground afterwards & the boring machine didn’t stay there for years continuously using those chemicals.

I can’t believe you’re actually trying to compare sinking a bore for water & fracking, it’s incredulous.

“Really!??! Faking it ”

People are faking polluted water & gas explosions in the basement & gas coming out of their taps? Your desire to cover up knows no bounds.

PhilM, all the fear mongering doesn’t fly. Let me copy part of just one water well drilling company’s internet brochure.
“…We provide professional installation of submersible, constant-pressure and pressure boosting pumps as well as water pressure tanks. Schrader Well Drilling utilizes modern well viewing technology with Down Hole Cameras and Sonic Well & Pump testing. We give NEW LIFE to an aging or low-producing well with state of the art HYDRO-FRACKING & ZONE-FRACKING procedures.

Our water systems are constructed to meet the highest industry standards to assure our clients a safe and dependable supply of water.”

From here: http://schraderwells.com/

Your need to believe the BS issued by Greens is amazing.

BTW, when have I denied AGW? If you tried to understand just a little, you’d be amazed at how wrong are your beliefs of catastrophic consequences. Hyperbole doesn’t suffice for proof.

“PhilM, all the fear mongering doesn’t fly. Let me copy part of just one water well drilling company’s internet brochure.”

Anonymous2, like I’ve pointed out twice before, fracking companies are allowed to operate largely without fear of scrutiny. If there is no chance of contamination & no toxic chemicals being used, then there would be no need for exemptions would there? Fracking companies would openly disclose all the chemicals they are using, not just the ones they choose to list, but they don’t , they are protected by legislation to prevent scrutiny, why is that?

“Both water and oil/gas wells drill within casings that unless broken maintain the integrity of the drilling fluids. ”

That’s the thing isn’t it? It’s all dependent on the casings & they do break & they do leak.

“You have yet to provide actual evidence that any wells were disrupted from oil/gas drilling that did not have a breach in its casing. ”

Errr no:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/us/drilling-down-documents-7.html#document/p1/a27935

Shell has also been censured in South Africa over saying that there was no documented contamination of ground water.

http://mg.co.za/article/2011-07-06-shell-shock-energy-giant-censured-for-fracking-ads/

“Your need to believe the BS issued by Greens is amazing.”

Your gullibility & susceptibility to slick fossil fuel ads is disturbing. I can understand your stance though if you work for them.

BTW, when have I denied AGW?”

Wait…you deny that you have even participated in AGW denialism on this site for a few months now? You repeatedly denigrate any scientific source that supports the theory of AGW,as well as dismiss any science blog, then applaud virtually every denier blog out there.

Need a refresher?

http://www.desmogblog.com/climate-skeptics-misunderstand-us-too
http://www.desmogblog.com/science-astroturfing#comment-719985 http://www.desmogblog.com/students-get-lobby-group-material-chris-de-freitas-climate-101-lectures#comment-720502

PhilM asserts (even another assertion without evidence): “Wait…you deny that you have even participated in AGW denialism on this site for a few months now?”

AGW denialism? What the heck is that? Disputive dialog to some weird, left of center, hyperbolic, catastrophe-based assertions is AGW denialism? Really?

To the original article and your references:
1) the NYT reference is from 1987, and a seminal US EPA study that establishes needs for improved handling of drilling WASTE with attention to drilling fluids. I guess in Greenie-land a study on drilling waste conditions a 1/4 century ago really is meaningful in today’s world. Coincidentally, the study showed examples, many of which, were the result of law breaking of that period, and you are making the extrapolation to today.
2) Your 2nd reference a new report about Shell oil having to remove ads proves nothing re: fracking. It does, however, prove that anti-drilling/fracking groups can have some influence. That reference ends with this:
“The findings against Shell included claims that fracking was used in 90% of natural gas wells and that there were no documented cases of groundwater contamination from the process.

“We do not know enough about the long-term or even the short-term damage fracking could inflict on the environment,” said action group chairperson Jonathan Deal.”

You claim that as evidence of what? The claimant, another anti-drilling fracking group, admits “We do not know enough about the long-term or even the short-term damage…”

Yup! You’re a scary/scared ideologue. You still have show no evidence, not even of my own views, other than raw, unsupported assertions.

Phil M wrote:

“If there wasn’t an issue, you wouldn’t be here trying to downplay the risks.”

See? The simple fact that you would dare to contradict Phil M’s anecdotes PROVES gas drilling kills single mothers on welfare and that you are a racist teabagger being paid by Exxon and Rupert Murdoch!!!

Who are you, anonymous ones? Who signs your paychecks.

Add me to the unpaid list, and open to offers. I also am retired and have much time to do research. I also ran my own GW Blog that I closed down some time after climate Gate changed the whole pitch.

But, if you Green organizations want to pay me, I’ll be happy to accept. Big oil surely has not opened its wallet to me.

Let me create a new thread down here, because the formatting of this blog is truly shite, with it’s continued narrowing replies.

AGW denialism? What the heck is that?”

Wow, that’s a new one. A denier in denial of AGW denies denying.

“Disputive dialog to some weird, left of center, hyperbolic,”

See, that’s when my point is proven & that of the Chris Mooney on the CWM’s ( In USA, Aus & Can mostly) being the most ardent deniers of AGW. It’s all about the big left conspiracy for you guys. There is no science involved, it’s just a big green socialist agenda………………..but let’s ignore the conservative European leaders who have pretty much led the charge on accepting AGW science & doing something about it. Angela Merkel? Let’s con people into believing it was alllllll Al Gores fault & the left.

“catastrophe-based assertions is AGW denialism? Really?”

Glad you can finally accept….you are a denier.

“I also ran my own GW Blog that I closed down some time after climate Gate changed the whole pitch.”

Let me guess, there was lots of lurv there for the greenies or left on that blog? Nah, we both know it was a parroting denier blog.

“I guess in Greenie-land a study on drilling waste conditions a 1/4 century ago really is meaningful in today’s world”

Here we go. Classic denier techniques. Whatever is provided it’s “that’s not evidence!”……well what is? “not that”. That was evidence. It takes many years & deep pockets to take on fossil fuel giants in court & farmers do not have that type of idol capital to go for years against them.

“ere the result of law breaking of that period, and you are making the extrapolation to today.”

Too right I am. There is far more drilling today & yes, there are better techniques & for the most, there are probably mostly good operators out there who are conscientious & careful. But we both know that’s not a given across the board. ESPECIALLY since they are exempt from scrutiny!

Here is OZ, even the rural conservatives are joining the push to prevent frackers entering their land. Fracking is only good for the fossil fuel companies & the government, but not the land owners. If it was, they would want frackers coming onto their land.

Check out the photo of one farmers property.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-15/farmers-call-for-mining-negotiation-powers/2840306

“Your 2nd reference a new report about Shell oil having to remove ads proves nothing re: fracking.”

It proves that Shell saying there “are no documented cases of groundwater contamination” are false.

It took us 40 years to legislate against tobacco companies & the effect of smoking was blindingly obvious. Yet there were ads with doctors & scientists saying it was good.

We aren’t even allowed to investigate fracking, so the public’s hands are largely tied behind their backs.

Wow! You still have zero evidence! All you do is continue to assert with NO PROOF! Moreover, you have cited nearly all of the major myths.

Read here: http://energyfactspa.com/natural-gas/sdefault.asp

To see what Pennsylvania Dept Of Environmental Protection (DEP) says about gas drilling.

Why DEP? They are the Agency most directly responsible for the largest gas shale deposit in the populated eastern US.

Know what? They confirmed the no evidence of a fracking accident polluting water wells.

You still haven;t shown where I have denied AGW. More argument by assertion proves nothing. I will and have often admitted that I do deny the catastrophic predictions. Y’ano, the ones you are so prone to believe without any evidence.

“Wow! You still have zero evidence! All you do is continue to assert with NO PROOF! Moreover, you have cited nearly all of the major myths.”

Lol. I have provided you first hand evidence as well as evidence from the EPA. Most AGW deniers work the same way. There can be no evidence sufficient for AGW deniers satisfaction. For the AGW deniers, there’s no accepting AGW until the denier messiahs do.

“Know what? They confirmed the no evidence of a fracking accident polluting water wells.”

It’s like being in year 5 of the tobacco wars. Smoking is good for you. There is no evidence otherwise.

“You still haven;t shown where I have denied AGW.”

Ahhhh yes…….I forgot, the euphemism you guys prefer is “skeptic”. You were “skeptical” about AGW. Soooo much more civil & palatable. But warmist & alarmist is ok yeah? People that occupy your position though are commonly known as AGW deniers.

You clearly position yourself as one. Let’s play some of your hits:

1) This ditty is called ; “It aint a catastrophe”

“Knowing that makes quite a difference in beliefs. The funny part, that is probably the major difference between skeptics and believers. Without the belief in “unprecedented” climate events (contradiction in its self) then it is even harder to believe the catastrophic, model-based predictions/projections/claims.”

2) comin in at number two was ; “I don’t like the taste of that source”

“Never, ever, ever cite Climate Progress for any scientific discussion. Unless of course you wish to lose all credibility. Ginger, yours is toast.”

3) This hit was called ; “Africa needs to be hotter”.

“The most equable period of climate were periods slightly warmer than we have today. We are reaping the high carbon creation outputs from that/those periods. Obviously man kind has benefited from these periods. so are you proposing to limit man kinds well being? Over what?”

4) This was a classic ; “It only takes one”.

BTW, the ACO2 theory of Global Warming has been falsified, several times over. And, Y’ano, it takes only one falsification to disprove a theory, no matter the weight scientific documents documents supporting the theory. When based upon an error they are all ”

5) Or the paranoia song ; “I’m tellin ya it’s a conspiracy”

“Moreover, the catastrophic prognostications are nearly nonexistent, with the past decade+ of no temperature gain, the whole argument has been altered. But, of course, the most important finding was Climatgate, where emails showed just how badly the “scientists” were altering the data and controlling the message(s). ”

I could go on & on with your recent hits, there are literally hundreds. The back catalogue is monstrous too. But you deny? Oh no…..you are are a “skeptic”, that can’t be convinced…*ahem*.

PhilM, after reading the article you cited “Check out the photo of one farmers property.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-15/farmers-call-for-mining-negotiation-powers/2840306”

Oz’s mineral rights laws are completely opposite ours. Here, the land owner owns the mineral rights. They can be sold whole or in part. That farmer, if he was in the US, would be getting paid for land use for each well and a percentage (IIRC 8%) of the gross production. You guys are getting screwed by your Govt!

BTW, that has nothing to do with fracking. Now I see that the issue is money.

“Here, the land owner owns the mineral rights. They can be sold whole or in part. That farmer, if he was in the US, would be getting paid for land use for each well and a percentage (IIRC 8%) of the gross production. You guys are getting screwed by your Govt!”

So the farmers/land owners in the USA & Canada get out the ticket tape & red carpet when the frackers roll up to their gates?

“C’mon in guys!! What took you so long? This is awesome!!”

BTW, that has nothing to do with fracking. Now I see that the issue is money.”

So there are no complaints from anyone in the USA or Canada? Because obviously they are fairly compensated, so there is no need for concern…right?

PhilM asks: “So there are no complaints from anyone in the USA or Canada? Because obviously they are fairly compensated, so there is no need for concern…right?”

Actually not for fracking accidents. Drilling and suiface storage accidents, sure. Go through your own references and see who was complaining.

BTW, your EPA reference was no evidence against fracking. Maybe you don’t understand the difference here in announcing requests for comment on potential rule changes versus an actual study showing issues.

I note you have still not defined where I have said I deny AGW. I do deny catastrophic predictions, and I do deny that ACO2 is the PRIMARY driver for warming. I do accept that GHGs have some warming influence, I do accept that man has some influence over warming. Above all I do accept nature is the primary arbiter of climate. I, absolutely accept, that man has been totally unsuccessful at controlling weather. It takes control of weather to control temps, and to control climate.

If you think otherwise on that ole weather comment above, I’ll just wait for your HUGE list of successes.

Otherwise, as they say over here, your all hat and no cattle.

“Actually not for fracking accidents. Drilling and suiface storage accidents, sure. Go through your own references and see who was complaining.”

Yes, they are rife with examples. Do your eyes fog up when you get to that part of something? I guess we need to know what you define as “fracking accident”.

BTW, your EPA reference was no evidence against fracking. Maybe you don’t understand the difference here in announcing requests for comment on potential rule changes versus an actual study showing issues.”

Ahh, I see you have chosen to play the ol switcharoo. Errr, you know Im talking about the 2nd EPA document. You know…the one that emphatically states:

“that hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking, can cause groundwater contamination. It cites as an example a case in which hydraulic fracturing fluids contaminated a water well in West Virginia. The report also describes the difficulties that sealed court settlements created for investigators. ”

A refresher for your convenient forgetfulness.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/us/drilling-down-documents-7.html#document/p1/a27935

“I note you have still not defined where I have said I deny AGW.”

Of course not. You guys are “skeptics”. Ive never seen one of you yet say “Hi everyone, Im a denier”.

PhilM says: “”I note you have still not defined where I have said I deny AGW.”

Of course not. You guys are “skeptics”. Ive never seen one of you yet say “Hi everyone, Im a denier”.”

Then why continue to use negative and incorrect terms? You’ve already lost any point when you do.

Also, making arguments of world-wide import on a WV accident, or actually on a small series of “one of” accidents shows the desperation and weakness of an argument. Similar to the CAGW issues. Ideologues such as you just can not see the forest for that “one of” tree. At least the average thinking person (fill in your favorite denigrating term(s) here) does.

“Then why continue to use negative and incorrect terms? .”

Because it most accurately describes you. You don’t need to call yourself a denier to be a denier, you just simply have to fit the bill & tick all the boxes…..& you, tick all the boxes. What about “warmists” or “warmologist” or “catastrophist”, I guess they are ok by you?

Lets have a look at the difference between a skeptic & a denier.

http://www.climateinstitute.org.au/component/content/article/112-blogs/681-be-sceptical-of-climate-sceptics

“There is a difference between a sceptic and a denier:
•Scepticism is part of the scientific process of observation and experimentation; good scientists are sceptics. Good sceptics are willing to be lead by the facts, wherever they lead in the spirit of open inquiry. Good sceptics are motivated by the desire to advance our knowledge in a particular field and are open to changing their minds in light of compelling evidence.
•Denialism is driven by ideology where the need to maintain the belief takes precedence over the evidence. A denier has decided their position in advance and looks through the data with the aim of confirming their pre-existing beliefs, ignoring the rest of evidence. A denier is not motivated by the desire to improve our understanding; many appear motivated by the desire to promote confusion and doubt about climate change. They are often linked in this case to the fossil fuel lobby or vested interests. ”

Denier definitely fits your MO.

“Also, making arguments of world-wide import on a WV accident, or actually on a small series of “one of” accidents shows the desperation and weakness of an argument.”

Investigations have really only just begun. Sit tight, get the popcorn & watch the show.

The ABC here have investigated it:

http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/special_eds/20110221/gas/

Fracking has been suspended in Quebec pending environmental reviews:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2011/07/29/bc-talisman-fracking.html

France has banned it:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-01/france-vote-outlaws-fracking-shale-for-natural-gas-oil-extraction.html

But you will believe any industry hype, sadly.

PhilM, makes some astounding claims then provides reference links. BUT, those links do not support what he asserts. His AU ABC reference above actually has more supporting evidence than any negative.

But the real kickers is his: “Fracking has been suspended in Quebec pending environmental reviews”

“Which actually says: “The government has approved a long-term water licence for Talisman Energy to draw water from Williston Lake, a BC Hydro reservoir in northern B.C. for the next 20 years.”

His France reference is true, though. so Phil, tell us the truth do you actually read your references? Or, as it appears, do you just do a n internet search and then pick some titles that appear to support your ASSERTION.

Argument by assertions is a loser. Argument by appealing to authority is a loser. You have done little else, and even than been more often wrong than correct. You are a sad case of ideology over logic.

BUT, those links do not support what he asserts. His AU ABC reference above actually has more supporting evidence than any negative.”

You just flat out lie at every opportunity. Every link I give you, you insist there is no evidence, then i drill down deeper where you couldn’t be bothered looking or just didn’t get. Again…you dont get it & you have selective reading.

Some of the links like the videos in there don’t have hyper links. But the first hand account from that Chincilla land owner isn’t exactly full of the praise you are dreaming of.

Nor are the links that you say are more supportive to your cause.

Let’s have a look at some since you believe they are “supporting evidence”

1) Millions of Gallons of Hazardous Chemicals Injected Into Wells, Report Says| New York Times | 16 April 2011

2) Committee Democrats Release New Report Detailing Hydraulic Fracturing Products | Energy and Commerce Committee |16 April 2011

3) NSW Govt to ban ‘BTEX’ fracking chemicals | SMH | 3 February 2011

4) Farmers on the Darling Downs to lock gates against coal seam gas miners | Courier Mail | 22 November 2010

Oh yes, they are sooo supportive. On top of that, as I have stated before.

1) The fracking companies are largely exempt from revealing their chemicals.

2) They are virtually answerable to no one.

3) Investigations are conducted by themselves ON themselves with a predictable result.

4) There is no way of really knowing what is happening under ground. Out of sight, out of mind.

Denier & liar for hire.

Australian PR firm Jackson Wells find themselves in the strange position of representing not only Cambridge University Press and the University of West Sydney but also Australia’s anti-science “Galileo Movement.”

Help Jackson Wells end their obvious conflict of interest by being forced to choose clients.

Contact information for Cambridge University Press may be found here:

http://www.cambridge.org/contacts/

For UWS:

http://pubapps.uws.edu.au/teldir/schlprocess.php?FOMK#MARKSERV

[x]
Fracking pollutes water

Chemicals released into the air and water during fracking operations may result in human health problems ranging from birth defects to decreased semen quality, a U.S study has found.

University of Missouri researcher Susan Nagel and colleagues from the Institute for Health and the Environment and the Center for Environmental Health conducted the most extensive review to date of research on fracking by-products and effects on human reproductive and environmental health. They concluded that exposure to chemicals used in fracking may be harmful to human health.

The paper,...

read more